We all can relate to the common “grumble” that occurs when requested to wear safety goggles in the workplace. Whether they are severely uncomfortable or just plain ugly, workers today are not always aware of the importance of eye protection on the job. Nearly three out of five injured workers were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident or were wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job. This not only puts a hurt in one’s eye, but in a businesses pocket as well. According to EHS Today, eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation. Although this is a significant amount of money, the good news is that your company can easily avoid this by implementing proper eye protection measures in the workplace.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), states, “the majority of workplace eye injuries are caused by small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye.” Some common particles or objects to be cautious of are:
- Metal slivers
- Wood chips or dust
- Splashes from grease or oil
- Ultraviolet or infrared radiation exposure
Often times these particles find their way into one’s eye by flying through the air; however, each and every business is different and provides different risks for their workers. The type of eye protection that should be utilized greatly depends on the types of dangers involved. American Optometric Association has a standard guideline to reference which eye protection is best:
- If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects, or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields).
- If you are working with chemicals, you must wear goggles.
- If you are working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics) you must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task.
As an employer, it is important to assess which type of environment your business is subject to and then attempt to remove or reduce eye hazards where possible. It is also the employer’s responsibility to provide the appropriate safety eyewear and require the employees to wear it. One way to help improve employee compliance is to provide a comfortable and stylish form of eye protection that workers will be content with wearing all day long. By following these simple eye safety guidelines one will greatly reduce the risks of eye injuries in their respective workplace.
Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company