The gift of sight is irreplaceable. Thousands of eye injuries occur in the workplace each year, which makes wearing proper eye protection so important. All it takes is a tiny sliver of metal, particle of dust or splash of chemical to cause significant and permanent eye damage. March, which is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, is a great time to review eye and face protection regulations with your employees.
OSHA’s eye and face protection standard (1910.133) states, “the employer shall 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.”
Whether on the job or working on projects around the house, remember to wear proper safety glasses, goggles or face shields. Follow proper guidelines or the safety instructions provided with the equipment, materials or tools being used.
Make sure your employees have properly fitted protection. For example, if you hear of safety glasses slipping, or are crooked or too tight, adjust them.
Keep protective equipment clean to improve visibility, and make sure your managers check these often. Wash them regularly with mild soap and water or eyeglass cleaner. Polish with a soft cloth or tissue. It might be a good idea to keep cotton-based glass cleaners, not wood-based. For example, Windex on paper towels may scratch some lenses.
Use anti-dust and anti-fog sprays to help prevent buildup on your safety glasses.
Store your protective equipment carefully to avoid damage when not in use. Any damage to lenses or shields can lessen the impact-resistance and result in inadequate protection.
- Partner with a local BWC Certified Optometrist and Optician office for treatment and glasses & contacts, especially if your company has multiple eye injuries.
- Schedule eye exams for your employees. Even if their glasses fit and are clean, there could be other injuries if they can’t see what they are doing properly.