From Worksite to Sportsfield: Everyday Eye Safety

Feb 11, 2020

Our two little windows to the world are one of the most vulnerable parts of our bodies, and one of the most sorely missed if they are damaged.

Each year, eye injuries in New Zealand account for more than 9000 ACC claims, costing over $3 million in medical costs. Patients are mostly men, with the most common injury recorded being “struck by object”.

Incredibly, researchers have found that up to 90% of eye injuries in adults may be preventable through the use of
protective eyewear

Protective eyewear has been steadily growing in use as safety standards are raised, regulations are enforced, and awareness of the risks and benefits grows.

At Greenlane Penrose Optometrists, we supply a range of
protective eyewear for every need, from the worksite to the sportsfield. Read on to find out more about how these can help you, or call up for a chat about your needs.


Eye safety at Work

Eye safety at work is about more than just protecting your eyes from damage, it’s also about working with any current vision impairment to find a solution that enables you to work better.

If you’re a manager, looking after your employees’ eyes is a legal requirement in New Zealand.

The main causes of eye injury in the workplace are inadequate or inappropriate eye protection. Many of those injured face long-term vision impairment or blindness, often from situations that could have been avoided with the use of suitable eye protection.

For some workers, however, standard
safety glasses only cause more headaches.

safety glasses may be uncomfortable or even impossible to wear over regular prescription frames, forcing some workers to choose between the two: have clear vision, or protect their eyes from injury.

This isn’t a decision anyone should have to make. We offer a range of prescription safety glasses, so you can have your vision and keep it too!

In addition to providing employees with comfort and accuracy of vision, safety eyewear is a necessity for many industries in New Zealand – with potential fines for failing to maintain standards of protection. 

At Greenlane Penrose Optometrist, we only supply safety frames that carry the Australian/New Zealand standards mark: AS/NZS 1337.6:2007, to comply with current regulations:

1. This standards mark must be shown on all frames
2. Supplied prescription lenses also must be marked appropriately
3. Frames must be made from polycarbonate specially worked to 2.0mm minimum thickness for medium impact work
4. Prescription safety eyewear must be supplied with a compliance certificate

While it’s the responsibility of the business owner to provide
protective eyewear for their employees, workers are also free to provide their own prescription eyewear as long as it offers suitable protection and meets the requirements.


Call us today to get your pair made, for your industry.


Eye safety on the Sportsfield

While physical coordination is a pillar of sporting capability, visual skills come in a close second.

Visual skills can be broken down into:

1. Peripheral vision
2. Depth perception
3. Clear distance vision
4. Hand-eye coordination

Similarly to safety eyewear at work, safety glasses or safety goggles for sports fall into two categories: compensation for visual impairment, and protection from hard injuries.

Prior to the acceptance of safety glasses in sports, players who suffered from eye injuries or deteriorating eyesight were simply unable to continue playing. Now, however, safety glasses allow players — famously, All Black Ardie Savea — to continue to play despite vision impairments.

Ardie Savea made headlines back in October when he decided to wear
safety goggles in the All Blacks’ upcoming match against Canada in the Rugby World Cup pool stages. With deteriorating vision in his left eye, the team doctor suggested Savea wear prescription goggles to correct his blurred vision while also protecting his eyes from further damage.

All Black Ardie
Savea proved that vision impairment is no obstacle to playing sport — contact sport, at that — at a professional level.

safety glasses are a godsend for players who can’t wear contact lenses, or find them uncomfortable through the course of a game, with the added bonus of protecting the eyes from further damage too.

Several New Zealand sports are now seeing the benefits of
protective eyewear, and allowing or even mandating them at a professional level. As more sports see the positive results and open up to safety eyewear, we’ll continue to see this niche market expand. 

If you need corrective or protective eyewear for your sport, get in touch with Greenlane Penrose Optometrists today. 

We’re always here with expert advice and are your go-to for a friendly eye exam. Book an appointment online or phone us on 09 525 1516.

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Cnr Great South Road & Rockfield Road, Greenlane 1051


09 525 1516


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