Surveys Link Eye Protection with Better Overall Safety Culture

Having a strong eye safety program in place in the workplace is a good -- and easy -- way to initiate a successful culture of safety. So said safety directors who responded to two surveys conducted by Sperian Protection, a global provider of personal protective equipment.

According to the company, of the 300 safety directors surveyed in the first study, 88 percent consider compliance one of their top concerns, yet 35 percent are not satisfied with their current level of eye safety compliance, and 30 percent believe that many brands of protective eyewear do not meet basic compliance standards. In the second study, 82 percent of the 125 safety directors surveyed do not trust compliance standards alone to adequately protect workers.

Sperian said it conducted the research as part of its goal of understanding the unique challenges facing safety managers. It explored their philosophies about safety compliance as well as key components and challenges in building a successful safety culture at their facilities. The studies included safety directors and related workers across more than 15 industry segments throughout the United States and Canada.

"Kicking off a safety initiative with eye protection makes sense for several reasons," said David Iannelli, senior product manager for Uvex, Sperian Protection's flagship brand. "First, it's easy to understand how valuable and vulnerable our eyes are, so it's an easy platform for starting a persuasive safety conversation. Second, eye protection is an easy thing for safety managers and peers alike to see in action -- everyone can tell who is being accountable for his or her own safety. And for these reasons, it's a great basis for providing positive feedback to those who are in compliance, helping reinforce safe behavior."

Sperian said the survey results were instrumental in building www.Uvex.us, the company's online culture of safety resource that features tools, tips, and expert insights for safety professionals. The study results also will be used to guide upcoming workforce education and certification programs, said the company, which has nearly 6,000 employees worldwide, providing hearing, eye, respiratory, fall, body, and hand protection.

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