OSHA confirms what we already know, that “thousands of people are blinded each year from work related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection.” Given the preventable nature of so many of these injuries, it’s imperative that employers and employees alike give ample attention to protecting their eyes on the job. Here are some tips for visual care and protection.
Eye Protection By Industry
Unsurprisingly, there are some jobs in which workers are at higher risk for eye injuries than others, including fabricators, laborers, equipment operators, repair workers, and production and precision workers. For this reason, OSHA provides resources for specific hazards and solutions. As an example, those who are welders must use personal protective equipment like safety glasses, goggles, welding helmets or face shields.
There is also specific guidance for farmers, who can experience work related eye injuries from the chemicals in spray cans, particles of rocks or while servicing their equipment. As such, farmers are encouraged to “wear industrial-rated glasses or sunglasses and flexible or cushion-fitting ventilated plastic goggles that fit over ordinary eyeglasses.” They’re also advised to add side shields for increased protection and “splash goggles when handling and applying agricultural chemicals.”
Increasing The Use Of Safety Glasses
Whether you’re in an industry that is typically associated with eye injuries or not, playing it safe is always the best bet. If you’re at all concerned about being exposed to chemicals, flying objects or other elements that could put your eyes at risk, talk to your employer about visual care and prevention methods. If nothing else, embrace the use of safety glasses.
If you’d like to learn more, Prevent Blindness America offers information about commonly asked questions regarding workplace eye injuries.