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Eye safety in the workplace

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In honor of workplace eye wellness month I thought I would go over some things your business should know about eye/vision safety in the workplace.

According to the National Safety Council more than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day; ten to twenty percent of those injuries will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.   OSHA claims that eye injuries alone cost employers more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.

Experts believe that the right eye protection could have lessened the severity or even prevented 90% of eye injuries in accidents.

The most common causes for eye injuries in the workplace are:

  • Flying objects (example: bits of flying metal or glass)
  • Particles
  • Tools
  • Chemicals (including ink toner)
  • Harmful radiation
  • Any combination of these or other hazards

Your best defense against a possible eye injury is to know how you can prevent the injury in the first place.  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I know the eye safety dangers at work?  If not complete a eye safety assessment.
  • Have I eliminated all hazards before starting work?  This can be done by using goggles, machine guarding, work screens, or other engineering controls.
  • Am I using the right type of eye protection for the task I am about to complete?  See your safety administrator if you have any questions regarding the type of eye protection you should be using.

If your wanting to know when it’s appropriate to protect your eyes at work.  The answer is simple.  Wear safety eyewear whenever there is a chance of eye injury. Anyone working in or passing through areas that pose eye hazards should wear protective eyewear.

Not sure you have the right type of eye protection?

The type of safety eye protection you should wear depends on the hazards in your workplace. If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects, or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields). If you are working with chemicals, you should wear goggles. If you are working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics) you must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task.

I also suggest that you make sure that you have eye wash in your first aid kits as well as eye wash stations set up to make sure you are properly prepared for eye injury.

If you are not sure that you have the proper eye protection equipment and procedures in place for your business talk to your safety coordinator or call American Fire & Security at 877-237-8918.

Stay Safe!

The Security Girl

Eye Safety In The Workplace


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