Monday, September 9, 2013

Keep Your Eyes On Safety

MAKE-IT-SAFE MONDAY


Thousands of work related eye injuries occur every day in United States. 10% of these require at least one or more days off to recover from injuries. The financial burden placed on employees and employers costs hundreds of millions of dollars every year. The quality of life decline after the loss of sight in one or both eyes cannot be measured monetarily. 

Most eye accidents are caused by industrial equipment that can send particles of wood, metal or concrete into the eye. Small particles can cause abrasions to the eye while large objects staples or wood slivers can penetrate the eye causing permanent blindness. Ropes or chains can cause a whipping effect when released under tension. This can cause not only damage to the eye but to the eye socket. Falling tree limbs are another major concern, as it will cause splinters and you are typically looking up while working on a tall tree.

People working around welders must take extra precautions because of the multiple ways eye damage can happen. The bright light given off by arc welders consists of visible light, ultra violet radiation, and infrared radiation. Without the proper protection the arc flash can cause pain, irritation, scarring of the retina, and both temporary and permanent blindness.  Sparks from a welder or grinder that land in the eye can cause painful burns. The arc flash and sparks will not only effect the welder but standing nearby is also at risk. 

Construction workers and welder are not the only ones that need to be concerned. Medical providers, lab technicians, and animal handlers need to be protected against chemical burns and bodily fluids that can spread disease. Infectious material can be transferred into the body through the mucous membranes of the eye. Rubbing your eyes with dirty hands, spraying bodily fluids or coughing can easily spread diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV, or the flu. Acidic or alkaline chemicals can cause severe burning and permanent damage to your eyes. 

Many options exist for eye protection depending on the application. Safety glasses with impact-resistant lenses are the most common type of protection. These are usually the most comfortable and unobtrusive making them the most likely to get used.  Goggles are the most effective form of eye protection because they create a seal to keep out dust, liquids, and vapors. Face shields are often used by welders and medical staff to protect the entire face. It is suggested to use a face shield with goggles as a face shield is not a primary form of eye protection. Be sure to install an eye wash station in an area where caustic chemicals are used. 

Always take advantage of any safety devices available because you only get one body and you need to take care of it the best you can. Keep both eyes on your future and don’t get caught without your safety glasses.  

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday


Brad Lindemann
Sales Coordinator, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company

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