Eye Safety: Three Eye Injury Prevention Tips from Our Friends at OSHA

eyeinjurypreventionblogimageThe two main eye injury prevention mistakes are simply not wearing eye protection or wearing the wrong kind of eye protection. Don’t allow these accidents that are so easily mitigated to cause major headaches for you as an employer.

The other day my granddaughters reminded me how important our vision truly is and our vision at work is worth protecting. Eye injury prevention is something that often gets overlooked until it’s too late for employers.

I enjoy my granddaughters and they seem to enjoy hanging out with their old Granddad.  One of the things they like to do when they are at our house is make “jewelry” by stringing beads of various colors and sizes onto small diameter flexible wire.  My job is to attach the clasps at each end of the wire so that the bracelet or necklace stays put when they put it on.

The other day Allison (8 years old) was sitting cross legged on the floor busily putting tiny “seed beads” on waxed thread to make a necklace for “Granna” her Grandmother and my wife.  The beads were about the size of “BB’s” with a hole in the middle just large enough for the thread to go through.  I was amazed at how sharp her vision was to string those tiny beads in relatively poor light.

When she finished her work, she handed me the ends of the thread to attach the clasps.  I had to put on my magnifying visor and use jeweler’s tweezers just to get my part of the project done.  No doubt her vision is much better than mine…

We are each born with only two eyes.  Some work better than others “out of the box” and as we get older we find ourselves having to use all manner of “cheaters” to compensate.  Good vision is an important part of our daily personal lives and our work lives. Here’s some quick tips for eye injury prevention and  protection your employees’ eyes at work.  Don’t skip simple and easy steps on the job that will protect you from injuries that could affect your eyesight.

See also: What to do When a Workplace Injury Occurs

Three Types of Eye Injury Prevention

1. Physical

Causes: Most commonly from high impacts from falling objects, swinging objects, or sparks striking the eye.

Prevention: Safety Glasses or Goggles with Polycarbonate lenses and a face shield.

2. Chemical

Causes: Eye damage from alkalis or caustic acids that come in contact with the eye through splashes, vapors, and fumes.

Prevention: The best eye protection for working with chemicals is safety goggles and a face shield with direct or indirect ventilation

3.  Thermal

Causes: Plain and simple damage caused by high heat or concentrated light.

Prevention: An appropriate thermal or radiant face shield with safety glasses underneath.

See also: Are You Ready for OSHA’s New Record-keeping and Reporting Rule?

Eye Injury Prevention

The best way to prevent eye injury at the workplace is to complete a thorough analysis of the work areas, access routes, and equipment to identify areas that present potential eye hazards. Then prevent injuries through proper training and equipment maintenance.  Training on proper selection of the type of eye wear your workers should select for a given task is one major area of prevention in itself. Teach your workers how to identify the risk and then choose the proper equipment to protect their eyes.  Equipment maintenance involves the fit and comfort of protective wear, securing loose parts and objects around the work area, cleaning and care of eyewear protection, proper storage of eyewear, and assigning eyewear to each personal employee and hold them responsible for the care and maintenance of their eyewear.

Have a great day and Stay safe!


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