Today, 2,000 people in the United States will suffer a work-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), even minor eye injuries can cause lifelong vision problems — but by the time you finish reading this, chances are someone will suffer an eye injury so severe that he or she will miss a full day of work.
Using proper eye protection can prevent an accident from becoming a permanent disability.
Welding, sawing, sanding, and hammering create dust and debris — that’s one reason why the construction industry has some of the highest rates of eye injuries, according to NIOSH. Picture an active job site. Sawdust and metal shavings are on the ground, on objects, and in the air. Wait until you leave the job site to take off your eye protection.
What to wear
Eye protection runs the gamut from safety glasses to welding helmets and full-face respirators, so it’s important to choose the right protection for the task. Many glasses come in a variety of styles with tinted lenses and features for comfort such as nose and temple pads. NIOSH offers the following recommendations:
- Use safety glasses for sawing, hammering, drilling, or similar tasks. Include side protection any time that there are hazards from flying particles or objects.
- Use goggles for tasks that may have higher impacts (e.g. a nail gun) or involve debris, particles, or chemicals such as sawing, chipping, masonry, or pouring cement. Goggles may have vents or coating to prevent fogging.
- Use a face shield in combination with goggles or safety glasses for tasks such as spraying, chipping, or grinding when you want to protect the face and the eyes.
- Use a welding helmet in combinations with goggles or safety glasses for arc welding requiring shade numbers 10–14.
For more loss-control resources including safety talks and printable posters, visit Preventing Losses on grinnellmutual.com.
Source: Grinnell Mutual Front Porch Blog