Protecting your Vision: Dealing with Potential Eye Hazards at Work


Work related health hazards pose risk to your eye – radiation, projectiles, acids, and bloodborne pathogens are just a few dangers to avoid. Those injured forget to wear protective eyewear or wear defective or ill-fitting gear. Your vision is precious, influencing your life in and out of work. Protect your eyes as you deal with a range of related hazards at work.

Identify Hazards and Needed Gear

Protective eyewear, goggles, and face shields protect you from projectiles, dust, and chemicals. The nature of a given task necessitates the equipment you’ll need to ensure safety. Those working with harmful dust and chemicals, for example, require masks with filtration systems. Identifying any and all eye safety hazards in the workplace is your first duty.

Minimize Hazards Before Working

Fitting machines with guards and maintaining a clean work environment minimizes hazards. A guard protects your eyes from projectiles and a clean floor makes it less likely you’ll trip on a cord or slip on debris. Special engineers and consultants can be called upon to survey your work areas.

Use Proper Eye Protection

As mentioned, most eye injuries occur because proper eye protection was not worn, defective, or ill-fitting. Identifying a hazard must be coupled with the right piece of equipment. Protective eyewear with strong lenses, for example, is different from a pair of goggles that protects the front of the eye as well as the side. In other scenarios, you won’t be able to expose your eyes or mouth and will need eyewear fitted with a filtration mask. Head to RS Components for safety glasses, shields, and more.

Train for Multiple Scenarios

You’ll need to train employees per health hazard, for specific steps are necessary depending on whether you come in contact with fumes, acid, etc. A blunt blow to the eye area, for example, needs to be treated with a cold compress. Any resulting weariness or pain is cause to visit the doctor or hospital. Particles making way into the eye should be flushed out with tears, and if unsuccessful, the eye needs to be bandaged before seeking a doctor’s help.

Maintain Equipment

Your equipment will only protect you if it is in good working condition. Additionally, workers need to pay attention to how goggles and protective eyewear fits. You can work with an optometrist to train employees as to how gear should be placed over the face and eyes. Consult the Occupational Vision Manual for more information about workplace safety.

What About Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are allowed to be worn in most job situations, yet tasks involving gases and liquids may be assessed case by case. It’s understood that contacts help workers in most situations, yet protective eyewear could be worn in addition to the lenses.

Err on the Side of Caution

Protective gear and health consultants are added costs to your business, but err on the side of caution when it comes to worker safety. Plumbers, welders, miners, and carpenters are just a few workers in definite need of some sort of eye protection. Otherwise, you may be violating OSHA standards and putting workers at risk.

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