In the blink of an eye, an incident can injure or even blind a worker who is not wearing proper protective eyewear.
The type of eye protection—safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets—must meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements.
In hazardous workplaces, streetwear eyeglasses should only be worn in conjunction with ANSI-approved additional cover protection.
Eye safety signs should be posted for anyone entering a work area requiring industrial-quality eye protection. Warning signs should be placed near machines, equipment, or process areas that need specific eye protection.
Eye injuries can be reduced when workers are trained to recognize the eye hazard they may encounter and properly use and care for eye protection equipment.
Workers in hazardous areas should also know what to do in case of an eye injury. In all eye injury cases, professional medical attention should be sought immediately after taking initial first-aid measures.
There are several causes of eye injuries:
- Foreign particles such as dust, dirt, metal, wood chips, and even an eyelash can cause eye damage. These get into the eye from the wind or activities like chipping, grinding, sawing, brushing, hammering, or from power tools, equipment, and machinery. Flush the object out with water. Never rub or try to remove objects embedded in the eye. This can cause further damage. Loosely bandage eyes to stop movement, then seek professional care.
- Chemical splashes from solvents, paints, hot liquids, or other hazardous solutions can cause significant damage. Go immediately to the nearest emergency shower or water source. Look directly into the stream of water. With fingers, hold your eyes open and flush your eyes for at least 15 minutes.
- Light burns can be caused by welding, lasers, or other radiant light exposure. Their effect may not be felt until hours later when the eyes begin to feel gritty and become sensitive to light, then redness or swelling may occur. Keep eyes closed while awaiting medical attention.
- Bumps and blows to the eyes can be helped if a cold compress is applied for 15 minutes to reduce pain and swelling.
- Cuts in or around the eyes should be loosely bandaged to stop eye movement until professionally attended. Don’t rub, press, or wash the cut; this can cause further damage.
Eye safety is so important.
Nothing can replace the loss of an eye.
Protect your eyes from workplace hazards by wearing appropriate, approved protective eyewear.
You’ll see the difference!