The Eyes Have It. Protect Them with These 3 Tips.
Every day, about 2,000 Americans get medical attention for on-the-job eye injuries, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. More than 100 of those injuries cause victims to miss work. October is Eye Injury Prevention Month, a good time reinforce the importance of these three on-the-job safety tips.
1. Identify the hazards
Workplace hazards that can affect the eyes include chemicals that splash or give off harmful vapors; dust and glare that limit vision; and flying objects resulting from sanding, carpentry, sawing and drilling.
2. Eliminate the hazards
Eliminating hazards is the best way to protect your employees:
- Check lumber surfaces before using a nail gun. Look for knots, nails, straps, hangers and other hazards that could cause recoil or ricochet.
- Use the full sequential trigger on nail guns to reduce the risk of unintentional nail discharge and double-fires.
- Use equipment guards, screens and shields.
- Install a ventilation system to remove dust, vapors and mists.
- Keep the work area clean to reduce dust.
- Fasten lids on chemical containers to prevent splashing.
3. Provide PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) includes safety glasses, goggles, face shields, welding helmets, filter lenses and other equipment that provides a barrier between your employees and the hazards they encounter. Each type of PPE is designed to protect employees against specific hazards:
- Look for PPE suggestions on Safety Data Sheets and the instructions for operating machinery and equipment.
- Make sure PPE fits, is comfortable and does not limit peripheral vision.
- Keep PPE clean and in good condition. Inspect it before use for scratches, cracks and other signs of wear.
If employees wear glasses or contacts, consider providing:
- Safety glasses with prescription lenses (the frame and lenses must be approved by the American National Standards Institute)
- Goggles or face shields designed to be worn over glasses
October is Eye Injury Prevention Month, a good time reinforce the importance of these three on-the-job safety tips.