Contact lenses are small, thin discs do of a transparent material. The external surfaces space custom-shaped to correct or enhance vision and also the inner side is closely formed come fit the surface ar of the cornea (the clear, front covering of the eye including the iris and also pupil). Today, the lenses are frequently soft (flexible) but hard (rigid) are still available.

Contact lenses deserve to be a safe and effective way to exactly vision for many people. However, human being who undertake them need to follow the directions of their eye specialist - this treatment includes just how long the lenses can be worn continuously, exactly how they have to be cleaned and stored, and the an excellent hygiene methods to follow when wearing or managing the lenses.

Many civilization wear contact lenses because they choose them come eye glasses - contact lenses perform not slip down your sleep or fog up in the wintertime. A few people, however, should wear contact lenses to have actually adequate vision (for example, ~ cataract surgery, or because that medical conditions such together keratoconus - a deformity of the cornea).

Contact lenses can cause some difficulties that do not produce any symptoms that the contact lens wearer might not notice. Because that this reason, contact lens wearers must have regular checkups v a specialist who prescribes and also fits call lenses.

What is the controversy about wearing contact lenses in ~ work?

Put as just as possible, the difficulty is that, follow to some people, call lenses may complicate eye safety.

The arguments against wearing call lenses in the work environment are based on the following:

Dusts or chemicals deserve to be trapped behind the lens and also cause irritation or damage to the cornea or both.Gases and vapours can reason irritation and excessive eye watering.Chemical splash may be more injurious when call lenses are worn. This raised risk is concerned the remove of the lenses. If removal is delayed, first aid treatment might not be as effective and, in turn, the eye"s exposure time to the chemical might be increased.

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However, the opposite may be true together well. Contact lenses may prevent part substances from reaching the eye, and thus minimization or even prevent one injury. Both situations have been documented.

As a result, a wide range of opinions about the security of call lenses in the workplace has actually formed. Much more complete info is difficult to find because occupational injury report systems execute not typically include information about contact lens use.

The crucial point come remember is that contact lenses room not intended come be offered as security devices. They space not a instead of for personal protective devices (PPE) - if eye and face security is compelled for particular work operations then all workers, including call lens wearers, have to wear the ideal protective devices. Safe work problems for every workers space only possible when straightforward occupational health and safety practices and procedures room followed.

Are there instances where it might be hazardous to wear contact lenses?

While these problems may be hazardous to both call lenses wearers and to civilization who carry out not, contact lens wearers must be mindful that certain conditions might make it important to prevent wearing your lenses. Each instance should be very closely investigated. These instances may include:

Exposure to chemistry fumes and also vapours.Areas wherein potential because that chemical splash exists.Areas where particulate matter or dust is in the atmosphere.Exposure to extremes that infrared rays.Intense heat.Dry atmosphere.Flying particles.Areas whereby caustic substances room handled, particularly those used or save under pressure.

In workplaces through ultra-violet and infrared radiation sources, individuals of contact lenses call for protection simply as persons not wearing call lenses do. Call lens varieties absorb infrared radiation. This impact is potentially an ext harmful to the soft lens wearer together it could change the water balance that the contact lens.

Are part hazards specific to soft call lens wearers?

Soft lenses are made from a kind of plastic that contains a large proportion the water. The soft lense adheres more tightly to the cornea and also does not have as much fluid motion together the hard contact lens. Because that these reasons, some researchers think the soft lens supplies some, but not total, protection against entrapment of foreign substances in between the contact lens and the cornea.

The major risks because that soft contact lens wearers space from chemistry splashes and also from hot, dry environments. Due to the fact that of the high water content of the soft contact lens, part chemicals can pass with the lens and also be held against the cornea through the lens itself.

Hot, dry settings can result in problems due to the fact that they can cause the tear great (upon which the lens "sits") to dehydrate. This instance results in eye discomfort.

Are some hazards details for hard contact lens wearers?

Hard lenses space made from an impervious material. Enhanced risk may result if foreign substances, such as dust or small metal fragments, become trapped behind the contact lens. Since the hard contact lens floats top top the tear movie in prior of the cornea (not in a resolved position), there may be an abrading action between the contact lens and also the international substance the may result in injury to the cornea. Also, chemicals may come to be trapped behind the call lens and held in place against the cornea. In dirty, dusty environments, the wearing of hard lenses may be an ext hazardous than soft contact lenses.

What are some other feasible concerns once wearing contact lenses?

A contact lens wearer functioning alone or in a far area may be at higher risk if hurt v an eye injury. The instant removal of contact lenses may be important and the hurt wearer might be can not to do this. Also, devices (e.g., eyewash stations) and qualified staff might not be immediately available which, in turn, increases the hazard of more damage.

Dislodgement or suddenly loss the a contact lens is one more problem. The first complication create sudden alters in vision high quality due to decreased visual acuity and also blurring. These pose obvious dangers if dislodgement should occur at a moment when vision is necessary for safety. The exact same problems can occur for wearers of glasses though call lenses may be less complicated to lose and are more complicated to re-position.

Can you wear call lenses with a full-face respirator?

The concern around the usage of call lenses v respirators or an individual protective hoods developed because that was thought that dislodgement or sudden loss of a call lens when wearing a respirator might lead to 2 potential problems. First, it is impossible to adjust or replace a call lens if wearing such tools in a hazardous environment. Secondly, the dislodged contact lens could end up being trapped in a component of the devices that avoids its appropriate functioning.

Most legislation in Canada does no specifically address this inquiry with the exemption of brother Columbia. In ar 8.38 (Corrective eyewear) of the work Health and Safety Regulation (B.C. Reg. 296/97) component (2) claims "The employer might permit the use of call lenses through a worker who is compelled to wear a full facepiece respirator if their usage is not likely to adversely influence the health and wellness or safety and security of the worker."

The occupational Safety and also Health administration (OSHA) in the unified States has actually dropped the component of their regulation that banned wearing contact lenses v respirators . OSHA reviewed literature and also sponsored number of studies and reached the conclusion the there to be no evidence that the use of call lenses with respirators led to an enhanced risk to the wearer"s safety.

It is prudent that a contact lens wearer practice wearing a respirator (with your lenses "in") to see if any kind of problems occur before the respirator is used on a full-time or emergency basis. The OSHA technical hand-operated states "allows the use of call lenses v respirators whereby the wearer has efficiently worn together lenses before".

Can girlfriend wear contact lenses once welding?

The CSA standard W117.2-12 says that contact lenses have to not be worn through welders and welding personnel since foreign body in the eye can reason excessive irritation. Call lenses perform not administer protection native ultraviolet radiation and flying objects. Welders must wear proper eye protection according come the circumstances.

Reports of contact lenses gift "welded" to the cornea (or lens that the eye) as a result of exposure to an arc flash have been proven to it is in incorrect. That is difficult for call lenses to become "welded" to the cornea.

Note that in Canada, Prince Edward Island"s job-related Health and Safety Act regulation (E.C. 180/87) section 45.11 specifically bans wearing call lenses when welding.

Are there any kind of laws around wearing contact lenses?

In Canada, law varies native jurisdiction come jurisdiction, and between law covering various industrial settings. Because that the most up-to-date information and also for guidance, applications or translate of these regulations or guidelines, you should call your regional jurisdiction directly.

Examples of legislative references include:

Alberta work Health and Safety password (2009) ar 230 call lenses 230. One employer have to ensure that, if wearing contact lenses poses a risk to the worker"s eyes during work, the worker is recommend of the hazards and the alternatives to wearing call lenses.

British ColumbiaOccupational Health and Safety RegulationSection 8.18 contact Lenses8.18 sufficient precautions have to be bring away if a hazardous substance or condition may adversely influence a worker wearing contact lenses.

Newfoundland and also LabradorOccupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2009Section 77 call lenses77. Enough precautions shall it is in taken where a hazardous substance or condition may adversely influence a worker wearing contact lenses.

Northwest Territories work Health and Safety regulation (2015)97. (4) A worker who is compelled by these regulations to usage an industrial eye protector or confront protector shall no wear call lenses.

Mine Health and Safety Regulations ar 9.27 Injury to eyes 9.27 (2) No person shall wear call lenses while working at a mine other than in areas that the manager has designated, in writing, together an area where contact lenses might be worn.

NunavutOccupational Health and Safety regulations (2016)97. (4) A worker who is required by these regulations to use an commercial eye protector or challenge protector shall no wear call lenses.

Mine Health and also Safety Regulations ar 9.27 Injury to eye 9.27 (2) No person shall wear contact lenses while functioning at a mine except in locations that the manager has designated, in writing, together an area where call lenses may be worn.

Prince Edward IslandOccupational Health and also Safety Act basic Regulations (2012) section 45.9 as soon as an employee intends come wear contact lenses in ~ his ar of employment, he shall immediately notify the employer. Section 45.10 The employee shall ensure the no employee candlestick wear call lenses wherein (a) gases, vapours or other products are existing which when took in by contact lenses may damage the eyes; or (b) dusts or other materials are current which may damage the eyes or cause distraction which may expose the employee to other injury.45.11 an employee shall not wear call lenses while welding.

YukonOccupational Health and Safety Regulation (2006)1.24 The worker as defined in 1.22 chandelier ensure that(a) the employer is educated when the worker wears contact lenses, has actually 20/200 vision or much less in either eye, or is remote in either eye, and(c) sufficient precautions room taken if a hazardous substance or problem may adversely affect the worker when wearing call lenses,

Other indict or criter that may use include:

CSA Z94.3.1-16 pointer for selection, use, and care the eye and also face protectors part 5 call Lenses Can contact lenses be worn in a hazardous rectal environment? Be mindful that call lenses themselves perform not administer eye protection in industrial environments.

In any environment where industrial eye defense is required, contact lenses need to not it is in worn, except under special clinical circumstances (e.g., in consultation with a qualified clinical professional). If one individual"s clinical circumstances require that call lenses it is in worn in together environments, eye security must also be used.

Canadian Biosafety Standard, second Edition (2015)4.61 contact of the face or mucous membranes through items contaminated or possibly contaminated through pathogens or toxins to be prohibited.Appendix – Explanatory Notes: 4.6.1 - Prohibiting tasks such as eating, drinking, using cosmetics, inserting ear buds, or inserting/removing call lenses reduces the hazard of personnel exposure with the contact of mucous membrane of the eyes, nose, ears and also mouth through contaminated or perhaps contaminated items.

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To for sure the safe use of contact lenses in the job-related environment, job-related health and safety values must be used to identify and control any possible hazards.

The most common hazards to call lens wearers have actually been discussed. Quantification of dangers is complicated and a range of complicated approaches have been developed. However, the many useful means of assessing the threat is come classify it together either agree or not acceptable.

If the risks of wearing contact lenses in a specific environment are discovered to be within acceptable limits, then the only course of activity needed is continuous monitoring that the situation.

If the threats are uncovered to it is in unacceptable, climate further action is required to eliminate existing risks or to reduce hazards to agree levels.

In any kind of workplace, priority have to be to eliminate or manage hazards at your source, or regulate along the path in between the source and the worker. When legislation is not particular about implementing specific control measures and also procedures, employers still are obliged to take every reasonable precaution come ensure that the rectal is safe.

Many approaches are available, and those most applicable to the specific situation have to be used. This strategy may need the purchase of brand-new equipment, substitution with a non-hazardous substance, isolation that the hazard, enhancement of safety functions to existing equipment, or redesign of the work-related process. Examples include ventilation; wet or other methods for manage of dusty operations; an equipment guarding; and barriers or screens.

Yes. When the danger cannot it is in adequately controlled, an individual protective tools (PPE) might be required. When contact lenses room worn (and wherein a peril exists), extra precautions are required to mitigate the potential for injury. As formerly stated, call lenses space not safety devices. PPE for contact lens wearers consists of splash or dust resistant goggles, and safety glasses. Other workers no wearing call lenses would wear the same PPE when exposed come the same hazards.

A mix of species of PPE may be essential if an ext than one form of danger exists. Because that example, whereby the potential risks are chemistry splashes and also flying objects, chemistry splash goggles provided in combination with safety and security glasses might be required.

More information around PPE is listed on OSH Answers.

Administrative controls might be offered in addition to engineering controls. Governmental controls limit workers" exposures through scheduling diminished work time in contaminant areas or by implementing other such work-related rules. These regulate measures have numerous limitations due to the fact that the risk is no removed. Governmental controls space not usually favoured since they have the right to be daunting to implement, maintain and are no reliable.

Where all methods of eliminating and reducing hazards have actually been explored, and also where the PPE can not adequately defend the contact lens wearer, or wherein the worker is unable to stay the PPE prescribed, administrative options exist. For example, in some cases, the call lenses have to not be used and eye glasses must be worn used instead. In rare cases, the worker might be offered alternate work.

The employer and also the worker have responsibilities come ensure the safe usage of call lenses. Where call lenses space worn, the adhering to steps must be followed.


Ensure that suitable health and also safety practices and procedures are followed. Carry out training and also education around eye dangers - an especially those certain to contact lens usage - and also training on the proper use the eye wash stations and procedures because that rinsing the eyes. Plainly identify call lens wearers. The details should it is in in the employee"s medical document and, at least, the first aiders should understand who wears contact lenses. It is necessary that employees wearing contact lenses be clearly identified (especially for very first aid). To help the set-up and also maintenance of one eye protection program, identification approaches such as the Medic-Alert insignia may be helpful.Have personnel easily accessible who space knowledgeable in the remove of call lenses in instance of an emergency. If removal of the contact lenses is necessary, personnel should be accessible to provide assistance. Removal may be crucial to prevent further injury. In some cases an ophthalmologist or optometrist may be required to remove call lenses. Provide access to a clean location for continual maintenance and also periodic cleaning of PPE and contact lenses (for example, removal of dust particles).


Take special treatment to keep contact lenses clean. Follow the advice of your eye treatment specialist. Comment on your job-related environment and any feasible hazards with your eye treatment specialist.Make certain that fellow employees and also the employer know that you are wearing call lenses. Be alert for transforms to the work procedure and alters to environmental problems that might be hazardous come you. Save eye glasses easily accessible for unexpected circumstances. Wear an individual protective devices whenever required. Learn around eye hazards and also encourage her employer and joint health and also safety committee members to carry out the same.

An instance of indict for contact lens use in a chemical atmosphere is easily accessible from the nationwide Institute for occupational Safety and also Health (NIOSH) in their document titled contact Lens usage in a chemical Environment.