With about 2,000 workplace eye injuries occurring each day, eye safety at work is a serious concern, one with long-term consequences. Approximately 10-20% of on the job injuries lead to temporary or even permanent blindness.
You wouldn’t knowingly work in poor air quality or skip the helmet in a construction zone, but are you taking the right precautions with your eyes on the job?
Understanding the risks is key in helping to prevent injury. For one, it will help you know how to protect your eyes and even your face with the right safety equipment. It’s important not to be misled into thinking “readers” or prescription eyeglasses are enough protection for your workplace threats. Proper eye protection is actually customized for each workplace environment. And may even need to meet pre-set standards for safety and effectiveness.
Lenses that filter unsafe light, goggles that prevent moving objects from reaching the eye or full-sized masks that virtually eliminate the risk of fumes, chemicals or sparks from reaching the eye area are just a few examples.
You can arm yourself against workplace eye injury by reading this handy checklist and learning all about safety on the job.
Eye Safety Checklist
Use this handy checklist on the job to identify possible hazards and to take steps to prevent eye injury at your worksite:
Evaluating Hazards At Your Job Site
- Identify the primary hazards at the site for each category:
- Identify additional hazards posed by nearby workers, large machinery, and the possibility of falling or shifting debris
Create A Safe Work Environment
- Minimize hazards from falling or unstable debris
- Make sure that tools work properly
- Enable and use built-in safety features such as machine guards
- Make sure that all workers and volunteers are trained on proper use and safety before working with tools and equipment
- Keep bystanders out of hazardous areas
Use Appropriate Eye and Face Protection
- Use appropriate eye protection that meets industry-accepted standards
- Match appropriate eye protection for the hazard
- Make sure the protection is in good condition
- Ensure proper fit and consistent use of the eye and face protection
Develop and Implement Safety Practices
- Remove debris from hard hats, hair, forehead, or the top of eye protection before exposing eyes and face
- Do not rub eyes with unclean hands or dusty and dirty clothing
- Maintain eyewear, replace when damaged or worn
Have a Plan in Place for Responding to Injury
- Be prepared for a possible injury and stock appropriate first aid supplies
- Know the best safety procedures for the injuries likely on the job site
- Create a plan for communicating with emergency medical help as well as internally with shift and senior managers