The month of May is Healthy Vision Month and one easy way to protect your vision is by wearing proper optical protective equipment for the job you’re doing and the hazards you could encounter. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 20,000 eye injuries occur every year and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that this results in an estimated $300 million per year in lost productivity, medical treatment and worker compensation. It is also estimated that 90% of these injuries are believed to be preventable or less severe when workers are wearing proper eye protection. Let’s take a closer look at both how injuries can occur on the job and how we can protect our eyes on any work site.
Most commonly, injuries to the eyes can happen through:
- chemical splashes and thermal burns (during welding, radiation, heat and infrared radiation, lasers, etc.),
- striking or scraping (projectiles like dust, concrete, metal, wood and other particles), and
- penetration (this can include bloodborne pathogens or physical objects like nails, wood, staples or other objects that can physically go through the eyeball.).
Occupational fields in which workers are at higher risk for eye injuries includes, but are not limited to, construction, mining, carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, welding, manufacturing, auto repair and maintenance.
Optimal Optical Protection
Before selecting just any eye protection, it is important to be knowledgeable of the types of hazards you may face within your field and to then select eye wear accordingly. Given that there are a variety of types of personal protective eye wear options available for workers, your employer should provide you with the guidance and proper tools needed to safely face your potential optical hazards.
Eye Wear Options
- Safety glasses with side shields
- Goggles or full-face respirators
- Special purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets (think: welding or working with fiber optics)
To delve further into regulations related to optical safety and OSHA’s criteria in eye hazard assessment and protection, click here.
Sources for this article: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), The Center for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), The American Optometric Association (APA), The Occupational Health and Safety Hazard Administration (OSHA), University of Utah Health.
For more on reporting and accident to OSHA click here.
If you need help to avoid these accidents check out our safety consulting page here, or our free resources page with monthly and weekly safety talks here.
Since 2009 we have provided expert safety consulting, inspection, staffing, and training services. We currently service over 100 cities teaching the EPA RRP Lead Renovator Certification Training. If you can work around our schedule we can typically deliver our services for near or the same price you would pay right here in Cincinnati, OH. Our mission is to reduce workplace accidents and injuries. We believe that these free safety meetings help us achieve that goal. The best compliment you could give us is to forward these along to another company.
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We have experience assisting companies with less than 5 employees to working with giant corporate companies like DHL. We have found that every situation is a little bit different. We offer a free safety assessment that can help us determine the gaps in your current program. From that assessment we are able to work together to develop a strategy to meet your goals. We have a team of 10 safety professionals and access to a network of over 5 senior safety directors within our community.
Does proActive Safety Services Offer Private Training Courses?
We specialize in delivering private training courses. In fact, we have sold more custom training courses that OSHA Outreach Training courses. Complete custom classes can get pretty expensive. However, it is easy to add in photos of your facilities, videos you may currently use, or any other custom content you feel is necessary. The best way to develop a custom course is to create Job Safety Analysis for each job type. It is simple for us at that point to develop a training program that covers the hazard your employees will face.