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 Post subject: Contact Lenses?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:43 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:18 am
Posts: 2
Location: Elkton, MD
For HRC 0, 1, 2, and 2* from the Simplified Approach...If you are wearing a helmet and appropriate face shield and/or with safety glasses dependent on the hazard category, should it be okay to wear contact lenses? Or should you not wear contact lenses and purchase prescription safety glasses?

Any opinions, thoughts, practices, cases, etc... would be greatly appreciated.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:54 am
Posts: 201
Location: St. Louis, MO
I have usually heard that you should not wear contact lenses in an industrial plant. The only place I have seen this enforced, however, is in a chemical plant, where the fear was the lenses could melt to the eye with a chemical splash.

I don't know of any code references, however.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:42 am
Posts: 184
Location: Lawrenceburg KY
WDN, Same as I. I have no knowledge that contacts are restricted in the electric field.

However, as a contact wearer I researched this and found a myth came about several years ago when a Bethlehem steel worker was injured while arc welding and wearing hard contacts. The rumor and e-mails grew to say that his cornea was welded to the eye because of the arc. This is false, there were other issues and the person's eye recovered on his own after a few days.

I seem to remember Canada has some contact restrictions. Not sure what they are.

As WDN said chemicals and some absorption issues may occur that would prohibit use of contacts in some facilities.

I also have found that contacts in some cases may protect the cornea. I also, remember reading a doctor saying it would take large durations of intense heat to melt a lens to the cornea.

If asked I would make a suggestion to add to a company safety policy or nurse if this is brought up. “If an arc flash occurred involving a person wearing contacts under his or her safety eyewear and EHR face shield the contacts should be removed after the incident. (For safety since the gases from the heat released under the shield and eyewear may be an irritant.) The person should rinse or exchange to a new pair of contacts after the incident. The person should not continue to wear the contacts that were exposed during the arc for an extended period of time after the incident.” (Many contacts now are extended wear)

[url=""][/url] See Page 2 Section 10.7

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