Lisa R. Godlewski

Lisa R. Godlewski

AGMA

90% of workplace eye injuries could be lessened or prevented with safety eyewear use

Eye injuries in the workplace are very common. More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. About 1 in 10 injuries require one or more missed workdays to recover from. Of the total amount of work-related injuries, 10-20 % will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.

Experts believe that the right eye protection could have lessened the severity or even prevented 90% of eye injuries in accidents.

What are the common causes of eye injuries? What are the common causes of eye injuries?

Common causes for eye injuries are:

  • Flying objects (bits of metal, glass)
  • Tools
  • Particles
  • Chemicals
  • Harmful radiation
  • Any combination of these or other hazards

What is my best defense against an eye injury? What is my best defense against an eye injury?

There are three things you can do to help prevent an eye injury

  1. Know the eye safety dangers at work-complete an eye hazard assessment
  2. Eliminate hazards before starting work. Use machine guarding, work screens, or other engineering controls)
  3. Use proper eye protection.

When should I protect my eyes at work?

You should wear safety eyewear whenever there is a chance of eye injury. Anyone working in or passing through areas that pose eye hazards should wear protective eyewear.

The type of safety eye protection you should wear depends on the hazards in your workplace. If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects, or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields). If you are working with chemicals, you should wear goggles. If you are working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics) you must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task.

What is the difference between glass, plastic, and polycarbonate safety lenses? What is the difference between glass, plastic, and polycarbonate safety lenses?

All three types of safety lenses meet or exceed the requirements for protecting your eyes.

Glass lenses

  • Are not easily scratched
  • Can be used around harsh chemicals
  • Can be made in your corrective prescription
  • Are sometimes heavy and uncomfortable

Plastic lenses

  • Are lighter weight
  • Protect against welding splatter
  • Are not likely to fog
  • Are not as scratch-resistant as glass
  • Polycarbonate lenses
  • Are lightweight
  • Protect against welding splatter
  • Are not likely to fog
  • Are stronger than glass and plastic
  • Are more impact resistant than glass or plastic
  • Are not as scratch resistant as glass

Assess Assess!

Look carefully at plant operations. Inspect all work areas, access routes, and equipment for hazards to eyes. Study eye accident and injury reports. Identify operations and areas the present eye hazards.

Uncorrected vision problems can cause accidents. Provide vision testing during routine employee physical exams.

Protect  Protect

Select protective eyewear that is designed for the specific duty or hazard. Protective eyewear must meet the current standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and later revisions.

Create a 100% mandatory program for eye protection in all operation areas of your plant. A broad program prevents more injuries and is easier to enforce than one that limits eye protection to certain departments, areas, or jobs.

Fit Fit!

Workers need protective eyewear that fits well and is comfortable. Have eyewear fitted by an eye care professional or someone trained to do this. Provide repairs for eyewear and require each worker to be in charge of his or her own gear.

Set up first-aid procedures for eye injuries. Have eyewash stations that are easy to get to, especially where chemicals are used. Train workers in basic first-aid and identify those with more advanced training.

Educate Educate!

Set up first-aid procedures for eye injuries. Have eyewash stations that are easy to get to, especially where chemicals are used. Train workers in basic first-aid and identify those with more advanced training.

Conduct ongoing educational programs to create, keep up, and highlight the need for protective eyewear. Add eye safety to your regular employee training programs and to new employee orientation.

Regularly review and update your accident prevention policies. Your goal should be NO eye injuries or accidents!

Put it in Writing

Once your safety program is created, put it in writing. Display a copy of the policy in work and employee gathering areas. Include a review of the policy in new employee orientation.

Nearly one million Americans have lost some degree of their sight due to an eye injury. More than 700,000 Americans injure their eyes at work each year. Luckily, 90% of all workplace eye injuries can be avoided by using proper safety eyewear. Read More

Source: Prevent Blindness

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email