Safety Tip of the Week – Eye Safety on the Job

Every day an estimated 1,000 eye injuries occur in American workplaces. No matter where we work, flying particles, dusts, splashes, or flying objects are apt to expose us to potential eye injury.

Causes of Eye and Face Injuries:

  • Splashes from harmful liquid chemicals such as acids or cleaning solutions;
  • Flying debris, chips, and dust from grinding and windy conditions;
  • Flying projectiles from objects colliding, falling, or being dumped;
  • Loose straps, cords, or banding that breaks or snaps under extreme tension; and
  • Extreme heat and light radiation from exposure to flames, welding, or torches.

BLS found that almost 70% of the accidents studied resulted from flying or falling objects, or sparks striking the eye.

OSHA Criteria for Eye Protection:

All eye protection must be in compliance with the American National Standards Institute ANSI Z87.1. All eyewear worn as PPE must at the very least:

  • Provide appropriate protection;
  • Have a safe design suited for the work that is going to be carried out;
  • Be as comfortable as possible without compromising safety standards;
  • Fit snugly but not impede the movements of the wearer;
  • Be durable;
  • Be easy to clean and able to withstand disinfecting;
  • Only be marked with the manufacturer’s identification; and
  • Used in conjunction with proper training.

That last point is important. Employees must be made aware of what type of work situations require protective eye and face wear, as well as what type of eye PPE is appropriate for each job.

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