Can contact lenses be worn safely for industrial jobs?
Contact lenses can't provide significant protection from eye hazards in the workplace. However, there is no evidence that wearing contact lenses increases the risk of eye injury.
Contact lenses may actually increase worker safety and productivity because they often provide improved vision in the workplace. Individuals who wear contact lenses usually have a wider field of vision than with eyeglasses. They also often have less visual distortion, especially with higher power lens prescriptions. In addition, wearing contact lenses instead of eyeglasses can improve the fit and comfort of eye safety equipment, such as goggles and full-face respirators.
The American Optometric Association believes workers should be permitted to wear contact lenses in most eye-hazardous environments (see the AOA Guidelines for the Use of Contact Lenses in Industrial Environments). However, these workers must wear eye protection over contact lenses according to the requirements for all workers performing the same job.
In some cases, such as when hazardous chemical fumes are present, the safety of contact lenses may need to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Check your employer's safety policy regarding the wearing of contact lenses. Your optometrist can help your employer and you determine whether you can safely wear contact lenses in your workplace.
Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology