Protect Your Eyes – eye safety

It only takes a second to injure your eyes. The injury could result from one moment of carelessness, or from something over which you have no control. Protecting your eyes is not only the employers responsibility, it is also the responsibility of the workers as well.

There are about 50 000 eye injuries per year in Australia costing around $60 million (font: Optometry NSW/ACT).
Eight per cent of workplace injuries are eye injuries and each year about seven in 1000 workers sustain an eye injury (Cole 2003).
An estimated 60 per cent of all eye injuries in Australia occur in the workplace, in the construction, mining, agriculture and forestry and fishing industries (Optometrists Association Australia 2010).

Facts:

* 9 out of 10 injuries could have been avoided using safety procedures and the right eye protection

* 3 out of 5 workers who were injured wore NO eye protection

* 40% of those wearing eye protection had the wrong type

RISK ASSESSMENT PLAN

The most important step for any organisation, no matter how small they are, is to establish a risk assessment plan. Once all risks associated with performing each job have been detected and acknowledged, the correct form protection can be established and finally the correct items can be purchased.

At Shop For Safety we sell a great range of eye protection tools from renowned brands such as Bollé, Uvex, SGA Bandit III and others.
Shop For Safety Eyewear

It is especially relevant to note that wearing regular glasses by themselves is dangerous because they are not made to sustain any type of impact. Safety glasses are classified according to the impact they can take. Before you buy them, you should know what type of impact they are likely to suffer and then purchase the correct safety glasses.
All the safety glasses sold at Shop For Safety have been tested according to Australian Safety Standards.

Some common eye hazards are:

* Heat
* Glare
* Splash
* Sparks
* Dust

IF AN ACCIDENT HAPPENS NEVER RUB YOUR EYES!!!
Our first instinct when something gets in our eye or it is injured is to rub our eyes.
Do not do it because you will cause more damage.

Eye injuries are divided into three categories:

1 – Physical – Dust and debris from sanding, grinding, chipping, flying objects hitting us in the the eye.

Type of Protection Needed:
High or medium impact safety glasses or goggles
In some cases lenses made of polycarbonate, which are the most impact resistant material.

2 – Chemical and Fumes

Type of Protection Needed:
If working around dangerous chemicals goggles should form a snug seal around the face and have hooded ventilators (except in extremely dangerous situations). Goggles need to be specially coated to prevent fogging.
Frontline Splash and Heat Resistant safety goggles

3 – Heat

Type of Protection Needed:
Safety googles that have been tested to resist heat such as:
Firefighter Safety Goggles by On Site Safety
Frontline Splash and Heat Resistant safety goggles

Tips for protecting workers in the workplace from injury:

* An appropriate risk plan and safety program must be put in place
* Proper equipment maintenance schedules should be developed and adhered to, whether daily, weekly, monthly, or annual.
* Training should be conducted in safety procedures and in the wearing and care of safety equipment. Training plays a vital role in reducing injuries!
* All employees should know what is appropriate eye protection for each work area so that if they have to enter, they have the correct protection
* All visitors should be required to wear protection when traveling through areas; if all employees know what’s required, they can make sure that people are protected.
* Know what to do in case of an accident

Proper care and daily maintenance of eye protection is paramount to eye safety.
Some guidelines in addition to any provided by the company or manufacturer:

* Clean eyewear after each use
* Disinfect eyewear that is shared among workers
* Store eyewear in case to prevent scratching
* Special anti-fogging products can be used if appropriate to the work location
* Before wearing, check for damaged parts and replace any part that is scratched, faded, cracked
* Before wearing, check for loose parts and secure them

Eyesight is precious; do everything you can to protect your eyes and the eyes of everyone you work with!

This text took a lot of information from an article by Dr.Isabel Perry, an internationally-known safety expert, motivational speaker, author and safety educator.
Dr Perry is based in Orlando, Florida. She can be reached at 407-291-1209 or via e-mail at Isabel@TheSafetyDoctor.com.
The Safety Doctor