Modern Workplace (Rx) Eye Safety: USAWorkforce

VISION MONDAY STAFF REPORT, NEW YORK—Did you know that more than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work every day? And of these injuries, an estimated 10 percent to 20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss, Prevent Blindness points out. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) believes that the right eye protection can lessen the severity of those injuries and even prevent 90 percent of them.

For eyecare professionals, establishing a role in the prescription sector of the occupational and industrial safety business can help extend their expertise in new ways and can also enhance their relationships with workers, their families and organizations in their local communities, experts tell Vision Monday. Specialists are prepared to help ECPs build those relationships and set up Rx safety product solutions with an increasingly diverse range of specialty frames and lens materials.

Some employers choose to provide over-goggles to people who wear prescription glasses, rather than offer prescription safety eyewear. However, wearing two sets of lenses can cause reflections, which can impact clear vision, and can be uncomfortable. This means over-goggles are far from the ideal solution for employees who need safety eyewear and have prescription requirements, pointed out Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers.

Safety eyewear experts, laboratories and providers in the U.S. agree that compliance among wearers is paramount. This is helped by new materials, design features and technologies that make today’s safety eyewear choices more comfortable and functional for employees of all shapes and sizes, for both men and women, for industrial, fabrication, health care, pharmaceutical and some high-tech settings.

In fact, some modern office technology company and laboratory settings are putting extra strain on employees’ eyes, with some companies pointing out computer and mobile screen glare as an increasing eyestrain hazard in the workplace—one also requiring a sensitivity to prescription wearers’ needs.

New Rx safety products combined with easy-to-manage inventories and dispensing options, can create consistent revenue for eyecare practices and optical retailers as these professionals widen their scope of expertise and care.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) posts a range of information about eye hazards in the workplace and emphasizes the role that eyecare professionals can play in helping companies create safe work environments, ranging from industrial and manufacturing settings to laboratory and pharmaceutical offices.

The AOA offers several fact sheets and guides that are downloadable on its website to help ECPs better understand the role they can play by taking part in local Rx Safety initiatives and dispensing. That information is found at www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision#4.

VM takes a top-line look at Rx Safety collections, products and programs on offer from suppliers, laboratories and distributors around the country: ArtCraft Optical Continues Its Rx Safety Legacy

The ArtCraft USA Workforce safety eyewear includes plastic and metal frames for men and women with styling, fashionable colors, quality materials and proven sizes. For over 25 years, the collection has continuously expanded with new lines and models. USA Workforce prescription safety eyewear meets ANSI Z87.1-2010 standards.

According to ArtCraft’s Charlie Eagle, “Over the last few years, we have seen a significant increase in our safety business in parallel to the growth of the manufacturing sector. The industry for Rx Safety frames overall is constantly growing as more industries and vocations make safety glasses mandatory. Regulations on the global level continue to be become more stringent for industries such as oil and gas, mining, construction and many others.”

Eagle pointed out, “In addition to a substantial increase in our safety business due to the growth in manufacturing and regulations, larger players have exited the market which has provided us with new opportunities. We have consistently grown our safety business over previous years.”

ArtCraft is launching two new lines of USA WorkForce Rx Safety frames in Q4 2019.

“By listening to our end-users, we will be launching a new USA WorkForce WF690 non-conductive safety frame. The new WF690 line is an ultra-comfortable, one wrap style with enhanced full protection foam seal and tight rubber gasket options. With the same rugged Grilamid material as the WF590, it is the latest advancement in nylon polymers, ideally suited for safety Rx eyewear. The high-quality foam is fully sealed, will not crumble, and both the gaskets and foam seals are removable and replaceable. Each frame comes with two replacements and snap-in head strap for enhanced user experience,” he said.

The new WF974 is inspired from blending modern and popular sunglass frame styles and color schemes into a functional safety product. The WF974 USA WorkForce non-conductive model features a wide peripheral view range, improved temple comfort, reinforced and integrated side shields and a sleek modern style.

ArtCraft sells via wholesalers, brick-and-mortar stores and partners.

ArtCraft opened its doors on Feb. 18, 1918, making it the oldest ophthalmic metal frame manufacturer in the U.S. Company founder, Charles J. Eagle, was originally a Swiss tool maker and his total focus became the production of only the finest quality frames for the eyewear industry. The third generation of the Eagle family now leads the company.