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Focus on Eye Protection

Julie Copeland

Posted by
CEO

Each year thousands of employees are blinded from work related eye injuries. These injuries Keep eye protection in your sights.add up to $300 million in worker compensation, medical expenses, and lost time in production. To prevent eye injuries for your workers, eye protection must be available. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific standards dealing with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Workers must be provided eye protection when hazards such as chemical, optical radiation, impact, heat, and dust are present.

Chemical hazards include splashes, fumes, mists, and vapors. The majority of eye injuries are caused by direct contact with chemicals. Optical radiation is radiant energy, intense light, or glares. Work involving lasers create intense concentrations of heat, ultraviolet, infrared, and reflected light radiation. Filtered lenses are needed in this case. Impact hazards consist of flying objects, fragments, particles, or dirt. Injuries could result as punctures, contusions, or abrasions. When dealing with severe impact hazards, face shields are used as secondary protective devices. A heat hazard is when extreme heat is emitted. Burns to the eyes and face tissue are the main concern when facing heat hazards. Most heat hazards also require a face shield. And when harmful dust is a hazard safety, goggles that provide a protective seal are needed.

Employers have standards that must be met when providing PPE. For instance, if a worker wears prescription lenses then the employer must either incorporate the prescription into the protective lenses, or provide eye protection that can go over the prescription lenses. Also, the appropriate shade number must be assigned for filters of protective eye wear when light radiation is a possible hazard. Another aspect of PPE is comfort and fit. If the eye protection is poorly fitting then it is not providing the necessary protection. Proper fit will ensure that the PPE will stay in place while in use. For protection against dust or chemical splashes then a proper fitted device should provide a seal.

Training is another requirement that employers need to provide for workers that use PPE.  Employers should also provide retraining if an employee does not demonstrate the skills required. In the case of eyewear protection, topics that are essential to cover in training include:

  • How to properly wear safety eyewear

  • Which eyewear is necessary

  • When eyewear is required

  • Proper care of eye protection devices

  • Limitations of devices

  • Emergency situations

Along with training, employers also need to create a written protection program. A procedure for PPE should be developed involving selection, fit testing, medical evaluations, training, maintenance, and storage. Not all eye protection or PPE can be used for just any situation. The proper eye protection device must be chosen based on the hazards the worker is exposed to. Factors to consider when choosing which device:

  • Ability to protect against specific hazard present

  • Provides comfort and proper fit

  • Device should not restrict vision or movement

  • Durable and cleanable

  • Allow unrestricted functioning of any other required PPE.

Arbill understands the importance of protecting the eyes of your workers. We are here to keep your employees safe and we provide a variety of PPE products to choose from to protect your workers against different hazards.  Arbill also provides training, including online courses, on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Our program addresses proper selection, hazards present, use and maintenance of PPE. We offer training on all PPE such as eye, face, foot, hand, and head protection.

To learn more about eye protection or safety training, contact us at 800.523.5367 or visit Arbill at www.arbill.com.

Set your sights on staying safe... and have a safe day!

Topics: Arbill, eye protection, Focus on eye protection, PPE, keep your employees safe, eye injuries

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