As a high school science teacher, you likely have a full semester of exciting material ahead, including hands-on experiments that most students enjoy. However, such activities can pose risks if proper precautions are not taken, making it crucial for you as the instructor to protect both your students and yourself.
Even as a science professional, your understanding of appropriate protective equipment may need updating, as safety standards can evolve over time. Therefore, it is wise to review safety information at the start of every semester. This is where Phillips Safety comes in: while we do not claim to be experts in all aspects of science student safety, we do possess knowledge about eye safety. Our aim is to assist you in safeguarding your students’ vision during the upcoming semester.
UNDERSTANDING THE SITUATIONS THAT CALL FOR SAFETY EYEWEAR
Whenever students are handling materials that may splash, generate floating particles, or become projectiles, safety eyewear is generally advisable. This approach allows you to exercise common sense in determining when your students should don their goggles. However, certain scenarios may leave you uncertain, and in such cases, it is best to err on the side of caution and provide eye protection.
The situations that warrant the use of such eyewear include handling chemicals or potentially hazardous biological materials, working with materials that are under stress, force, or pressure, performing experiments that create projectiles, explosions, or collisions, working with lever systems, participating in activities that generate dust or fumes, using heat sources like hot plates, and working with specimens, whether they are alive or preserved. Choosing the appropriate eyewear for these situations is crucial to ensure maximum safety for all students.
EYEWEAR SELECTION MADE EASY: TIPS FOR TEACHERS
Once you have identified the situations in which your students need to wear eye protection, the next step is to determine the appropriate eyewear to purchase. Goggles are a preferable option over glasses since they offer comprehensive coverage and simplify proper usage. For experiments involving larger solid items that may cause projectiles or collisions, Z87+ D3 safety glasses with side shields are adequate.
For activities that involve smaller hazards such as chemicals, fumes, dust, or particles, you should invest in Z87+ D3 safety goggles that are indirectly vented. These goggles should fit snugly, offering full coverage with soft flanges extending around the eyes. The vents should have small hoods to prevent anything from penetrating the protective eyewear. By selecting the correct type of eyewear, you can ensure the safety of your students during science experiments and activities.
In situations where laser safety is necessary, it is important to note that while most laser beams used in high school classrooms are safe, there may be instances where a higher-class laser is required. If you need to use a class 2M or 3R laser, it is crucial to provide laser-specific safety eyewear. When purchasing safety glasses for your students, make sure they meet the ANSI Z80.1, Z136.1, and Z136.3 standards to ensure the highest level of protection for your students’ vision.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CLASSROOM SAFETY EYEWEAR: PROPER USAGE, MAINTENANCE, AND REPLACEMENT
Ensuring the safety of your students involves not only providing adequate eye protection but also educating them about the significance of eye safety and the risks associated with not wearing goggles. It is essential to demonstrate how to wear goggles correctly to ensure proper functionality and consistently monitor and rectify any improper usage during every class period. By instilling a culture of eye safety in your students, you can help prevent accidents and promote a safer learning environment.
Maintaining safety goggles is essential, especially when teaching a large number of students. Given that teachers have busy schedules, we suggest assigning students to carry out eyewear maintenance tasks to keep the goggles in good condition. The tasks that these students will be responsible for include spraying the goggles with a lens cleaning spray, wiping each lens with a soft, microfiber cloth, and storing each pair of goggles in an individual hard case to prevent any scratching or breakage.
It is important to take care of your classroom set of safety goggles to ensure they last for many years. However, even with proper cleaning and maintenance, there will come a time when you need to replace your eyewear. There are a few signs that indicate it’s time for a replacement, such as scratches on the goggle lenses, loose or stretched-out bands, or ill-fitting flanges on chemical safety goggles. By recognizing these signs and promptly replacing worn-out goggles, you can help ensure your students’ safety in the classroom.
By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure a safe and injury-free school year. Don’t hesitate any longer and order your new safety eyewear today to have them ready in time for your next experiment. If you need help selecting the perfect eyewear for your classroom, feel free to contact us for assistance.