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PROPERTY & CASUALTY
MAR 18, 2019
The Need For Eye Safety is Clear to See
It’s Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Do you know how to effectively use eye protection in industrial settings? Keep reading to protect yourself and your employees.
The cost of eye injuries
Eye injuries cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses and Workers’ Compensation. However, most injuries can be prevented. Of these injuries, nearly three out of five workers were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident, or were wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job.
Since most objects causing eye injuries are smaller than a pinhead, usually by striking or abrading the eye, engineering controls and personal protective equipment (PPE) are a must.
Who’s at risk?
Skilled trade workers have the highest rate of eye injuries. According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety and Health, electricians, plumbers and pipefitters have the highest risk.
How to prevent eye injuries
New technology can keep eyes safe for these particular workers, and more. However, the first step to prevent eye injury is knowing the eye safety dangers at your place of employment. Once proper methods are in place to control these hazards (i.e. machine guards, work screens or other engineering controls), adequate eye protection can be determined. Types of eye protection include:
Goggles — which protect from impact, dust and chemical splashes.
Face shields and helmets — which protect from chemicals, heat or blood-borne pathogens.
Special protection — a helmet or goggles with special filters to protect the eyes from optical radiation exposure.
All eye protection should be properly maintained, as scratched or dirty PPE can reduce visibility, create glare and may cause accidents.
In case of an emergency
If an eye injury should occur, seek medical attention as soon as possible. An even greater sense of urgency should be used when there is pain in the eye, blurred vision or any loss of vision. Until medical assistance becomes available, there are first aid steps that can and should be taken. The type of first aid administered will depend on the cause of injury. Use these
from the American Academy of Ophthalmology
You are responsible for protecting your workers from eye damage. Read more about the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s standards for eye and face protection