The Importance of Safety Glasses for Welding

Safety Glasses for Welding

Eye injuries account for one-quarter of all welding injuries. This makes them by far the most common injury for welders, according to research from the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. Those most at risk for welding-related eye injuries are workers in industries that produce industrial and commercial machinery, computer equipment and fabricated metal products. Therefore, we will discuss the importance of safety glasses for welding.

Safety Glasses for Welding

Most workplace eye injuries occur due to small particles of objects (such as metal slivers, wood chips and dust) striking or abrading the eye, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 70 percent of eye injuries studied came from flying or falling objects or sparks striking the eye. Injured workers stated that nearly three-fifths of the objects were smaller than a pinhead.

Welding Produces Harmful Invisible Rays

Welding produces visible light, which can be harmful, as well as invisible rays, including ultraviolet (UV) and infrared radiation (IR). While invisible radiation may be out of sight and therefore out of mind, it can cause damage without the worker immediately realizing it. Often times, the damage may not even become evident until years later. Generally, people experience exposure to radiation every day, from the sun, light bulbs, microwaves, etc.

However, welding poses a higher risk of health problems because of the intense concentration of light as well as the frequency of exposure because of the job. It’s not just welders who are risk either. In addition, employees who work in the general vicinity can also experience exposure to potentially damaging light.

Not Having Proper Protection Can Result in Health Problems


Various conditions can result if you don’t wear proper eye protection during welding. One of these conditions is a painful eye condition known as photokeratitis. It is also commonly known as snow blindness and arc eye. “Photokeratitis is like having a sunburned eye,” according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). It affects the cornea, as well as the conjunctiva, which lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the white part of the eye. The damage from photokeratitis isn’t permanent, but it is extremely painful and irritating. Treatment typically includes avoiding bright lights for a length of time, which could mean not working temporarily. Symptom severity depends on the length of exposure. Symptoms include the following:

  • sensitivity to bright light
  • seeing halos
  • pain
  • blurry vision
  • red eyes
  • teary eyes
  • headache
  • swelling
  • grittiness
  • sensation of sand being in the eye


Workers also run the risk of getting cataracts if they don’t wear proper protection. Cataracts is when the lens of the eye, which is typically clear, becomes clouded. This can currently only be treated by having surgery. Symptoms include the following:

  • cloudy vision
  • frequent changes in eye-wear prescription
  • double vision
  • sensitivity to light

These are just a few reasons why safety glasses for welding are important. Brazos Industries follows all of OSHA requirements to ensure safety for everyone. Don’t hesitate to contact us with the link below for more information!

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