The human eye is often taken for granted – even though it’s one of the most delicate parts of the human body.
Nearly 2,000 people in the U.S. injure their eyes while working, every day. Of these 2,000 workers, one-third of the injuries are severe enough to be treated in an emergency room.
That’s why Prevent Blindness has declared the entire month of March as Workplace Eye Wellness awareness. With the right eye protection, you could lessen the severity or even prevent 90% of eye injuries and accidents.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that almost three out of the five workplace eye injuries are due to not wearing appropriate eye protection.
Post signs and labels in the immediate area to inform and protect others from eye-related injuries. And always have the appropriate PPE readily available in dispensers, holders, and/or custom PPE boards.
You could even go a step further. Before visitors or employees walk into the area, remind them of the required safety glasses with a durable floor marking sign.
Eye safety is a concern in many industries including manufacturing, healthcare, construction, and lab work – but not like those exposed to electric arcs and gas flames. Per OSHA, shipyard workers engaged in hot work, eye injuries are among the most common type of injury experienced. Although most are not serious, they could potentially damage vision in one or both eyes.
In hot work environments, exposure to ultraviolet rays and radiant energy in the visible bands produced by electric arcs and gas flames can cause eye injuries. The most frequent injury, UV Keratitis, commonly called welders flash, occurs when the unprotected eye is exposed to the intense light generated from a welding arc. Chronic exposure can increase the risks of cataracts.
OSHA’s eye and face protection standard 29 CFR 1910.133 states, “The employer must ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.”
Per the National Safety Council, all it takes is a tiny sliver of the metal particle, particle of dust, or a splash of chemical to cause significant and permanent eye damage.
The most common eye-related injuries include:
Whether you or your employees need to wear goggles, helmets, face shields, or safety glasses, simply wearing them will protect your eyes and often, even save your eyesight.
Key Takeaways: Familiarize yourself with eye-related dangers at work and always wear the appropriate PPE to protect your vision.
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