||January 28th, 2014 12:44
The issue with testing, is that now they have been "struck". So if you're talking safety eyewear, like your standard $5.00 - $20.00 CSA approved glasses, now they are technically no good. Manufacturers specifications always state this. In the case of ballistic, like say Oakley lenses, they are tested with a steel bolt, fired at high speeds. I'd argue that ballistic lenses can take multiple light BB hits without a worry, but as pointed out in previous posts, like the one by Thunder Cactus on ESS glasses, you can get bad batches, and they can and will fail. However in the case of standard safety glasses, after any strike or scratch, like a BB at close range from a 600 FPS gun, now they need replacement.
I'd recommend that anyone using CSA/ANSI safety glasses "must" have built in side shields, a retention strap, and "must be replaced after any strike or visible scratch. Light scuffs from being in a gear bag, or a BB strike out beyond 100', 200', 300' or more feet, FPS depending, may be considered okay, but they should be inspected each time a hit happens for visible damage. If also argue that any strike, no matter the distance, that you can feel, snaps your head back, or makes that audible "thwack", should count as a strike. So it stands to reason that buying an entire box of safety eyewear, say from an automotive store at once, is way more affordable and cost effective. Obviously you're going to then buy the $3.00 - $8.00 safety glasses, as the more expensive ones would be a waste of you had to regularly replace them.
So when someone brings out appropriate safety eyewear, I'd let them run them without a "test" as it were. Honestly, your better off long term, than technically being the cause of disabling their eyewear's safety abilities by shooting them. That being said, clearly outline "acceptable" field eyewear, and what it needs to be accepted, so people don't go out and buy garbage, or try running something unsuitable. We had a guy try and run a gas mask, that was safety rated, but had those old school "glass" lenses. It may take a hammer strike, but it did not like BBs, and the glass cracked. Can you imagine glass shards in his eyes, following a BB strike? So "modern" industrial or ballistic eyewear is a must, and if someone wants to test their own eyewear, and put themselves at risk, well, that's up to you, as it is your field. But I wouldn't want to be the guy who just shot their eyewear to test, and broke the manufacturer's instructions.
There is another issue we've dealt with, and that is facial structure. Facial features like cheekbones, orbital bones, and brow can all play a part in if their eyewear will fit right. The most common one is cheek bones, and this can make things difficult on certain players. Good rule of thumb, once any glasses are on, and worn properly, the player should not be able to touch their eyes with a finger from any angle. It does work, but this is where it gets interesting. If someone has a skinny face or a smaller bone structure, their safety glasses may not actually cover their eyes at certain angles. If the gap is big enough, a BB could come in and ricochet off of their safety lenses, and into their eyes. The human eye is relatively tough, and would likely take a ricochet, but I wouldn't want to put it to the test. In these cases, we make them wear large lenses glasses, such as the M-Frame style, like most modern ballistics have. You'll find safety glasses like this mostly in grinding or power tool settings, as the cover over the lower brow, center cheek bone, and orbital recess. Which leaves us with one last problem, although their are people who can wear thinner styles if safety eyewear and damn near get a seal due to their facial structure, their are those who cannot even wear large or wide lensed glasses, without still having their cheek bones providing any cover. I'm hit or miss with this myself, but I've seen many that no matter what they wear, they can still reach up from underneath, and touch their eyes. This is a tough one, because it is a very bizarre angle, and no matter what they do, they will always have the cheekbone gap. In these instances, we have daned to allow the player the choice of wide lenses, but recommend that they wear a full seal goggle instead.
Bottom line, is that eye safety is each individuals responsibility, but every team, field, host, club , etc, should set the proper example, and have clear cut safety expectations, and comprehensive rules regarding eyewear. Especially, in my opinion, to what is deemed acceptable eyewear, and that reasonable and responsible eye safety always supersedes comfort, style, and personal feelings.
This is a picture of a guy who wore his eyewear down the bridge of his nose, instead of properly. His eyewear fogged up, and he pushed them down so he could tilt his head and see. The gun that shot him was approximately 100' - 150' away, and shot approximately 400 FPS - 420 FPS with a 0.20 gram BB. I think I've posted it here before, but it's a good reminder that close, is too close.