March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month! Reevaluate your Eye Safety Programs

eye protection

Nearly 1 million Americans have lost some of their sight from an eye related injury, according to Prevent Blindness America (PBA). Eye wellness is important and something we may take for granted until a preventable accident occurs.

In light of Workplace Eye Wellness Month, make it a priority to review safety procedures and raise awareness about the importance of eye safety.

The Importance of Eye Protection

The majority of work-related eye injuries are a result of flying or falling objects or sparks striking the eye.

Other common potential hazards include the following:

• Fumes
• Vapors
• Chemical splashes
• Extremely bright or hazardous light, such as from welding

Common Types of Eye Protection

A job hazard assessment should be performed prior to the start of a particular task to determine the type of eye protection required.

Safety glasses protect against low-to-moderate impacts and sparks from activities such as grinding and woodworking. Only use safety glasses with side shields.
Goggles form a protective seal around the eye area to better protect from hazardous chemical vapors, splashes, or dust or other small particles that may enter the eye. Make sure that your goggles include ventilation mechanisms to prevent fogging.
Face shields protect the entire face against flying particles, sparks, splashes, harmful mists, and other hazards.
Welding masks are specially designed to protect from radiant energy, sparks, and metal splatters from welding.

Proper Use

• Always wear proper eye protection where required, even if danger to your eyes seems remote.
• Before use, verify that your equipment is appropriate for the task.
• Inspect eye protection prior to each use.
• If you wear prescription eyewear, use eye protection that accommodates it. Prescription eyewear by itself is not a substitute for safety glasses or goggles.
• When welding or cutting, always wear safety glasses or goggles underneath face shields or welding helmets.
• When your work is complete, store eye protection properly and away from extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.

Those working in office settings are encouraged to follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce the risk of digital eye strain: Take a 20-second break by looking at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers an Eye and Face Protection online training course that outlines a manager’s responsibility to educate employees on safe equipment use and controls. Other related toolbox talk safety documents include: PPE – Tinted Safety Glasses, PPE – Machines and Clothing, Digital Eye Strain and more. Safety videos are also available in English and Spanish on the topics of Eye Safety and Eye Safety in Construction Environments.

The Right Body Protection Can Save Lives

Body Protection

Hazards are present in every workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals the majority of workplace injuries occur while workers are performing their normal job duties at their regular work sites.

In many industries, avoiding injuries and incidents depends on correctly identifying and acquiring the proper personal protective equipment, or “PPE” for the task.

Body protection generally protects the torso, but can also include full-body coverage that can protect from chemical splashes, sharp objects, or welding sparks. The proper type and condition of equipment will need to be determined by a job hazard assessment conducted before the work begins.

Note: Body Protection and other PPE will not completely eliminate hazards.

The most common types of body protection include the following:

Common Types
• Aprons
• Laboratory coats
• Front or rear gowns
• Vests
• Jackets
• Coveralls
• Chaps
• Full body suits

Common Materials
• Paper or fiber
• Rubber
• Treated wool or cotton
• Leather

Before use:
• Assure employees have been fully trained on its proper use
• Inspect body protection for holes, cuts, or other noticeable signs of wear
• Replace any worn or damaged articles
• Assure body protection fits properly. Ill-fitting clothing may result in additional hazards such as trips and caught-in hazards.

After use:
• Perform on-site cleaning and maintenance of equipment. Do not clean body protection items at home or in public laundromats.
• If working with chemicals, biohazards, or other hazardous materials, remove and properly dispose of any contaminated clothing immediately.

Succeed Management Solutions, LLC offers a newly updated Personal Protective Equipment training course for management that includes information on hearing, respiratory and full-body protection, PPE selection, inspection, and maintenance. A series of toolbox safety documents are also available about specific types of PPE such as eye, foot and hand protection, and types of machinery and clothing.