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A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ComplianceSigns.com ®

September 24, 2014

Safety Tip - Selecting The Right Eye Protection

Eye Protection Required
About 300,000 Americans visit the emergency room each year due to workplace eye injuries, ranging from simple eye strain to severe trauma that can cause permanent damage, vision loss and blindness. Nearly three out of five workers are injured because they are not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident, but many said they didn't know that they were supposed to wear eye protection

There are five primary types of hazards that can lead to eye injuries. Use this list from OSHA to help identify the correct eye and face protection for various hazards:

Impact Hazards:
Flying objects such as large chips, fragments, particles, sand and dirt commonly result from chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, wood working, sawing, drilling, chiseling, powered fastening, riveting, and sanding. OSHA Recommends:

  • Spectacles - Primary protectors to shield the eyes from a variety of impact hazards.
  • Goggles    - Primary protectors to shield the eyes against flying fragments, objects, large chips, and particles.
  • Face Shields - Secondary protectors to protect the entire face against exposure to impact hazards.

Heat Hazards:
Anything emitting extreme heat, such as furnace operations, pouring, casting, hot dipping and welding. OSHA Recommends:

  • Spectacles - Primary protectors to shield the eyes from a variety of heat hazards.
  • Goggles - Primary protectors to shield the eyes from a variety of heat hazards.
  • Face Shields - Secondary protectors to protect the entire face from a variety of heat hazards.

Chemical Hazards:
Splash, fumes, vapors and irritating mists commonly occur in acid and chemical handling, degreasing, plating and working with blood. OSHA Recommends:

  • Goggles - Primary protectors to shield the eyes against liquid or chemical splash, irritating mists, vapors, and fumes.
  • Face Shields - Secondary protectors intended to protect the entire face against exposure to chemical hazards.

Dust Hazards:
Harmful dust commonly created by woodworking, buffing and dusty conditions. OSHA Recommends:

  • Goggles - Primary protectors to protect the eyes against a variety of airborne particles and harmful dust.

Optical Radiation Hazards:
Radiant energy, glare, and intense light from welding, torch-cutting, brazing, soldering and laser work.

  • First consider the intensity of the light or heat. Then, select lenses and/or filters that provide protection while allowing the task to be completed. When selecting filter lenses, begin a shade too dark to see the welding zone. Then try lighter shades until one allows a sufficient view of the welding zone without going below the minimum protective shade. Learn more on OSHA requirements here.
 
No matter what kind of eye hazards you identify, prepare for eye injuries and first aid needs by having an eye wash or sterile solution on hand.

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