Your eyes are important in almost all your activities, and because eyes come only one pair to a customer, they deserve all the care and protection you can give them. What actions can you take to protect the eyes that are so important to your happiness and well-being?
The most important thing you can do is to wear the eye protection we require when there is a danger of flying particles, dust, or harmful liquids getting into your eyes. Those of you who wear eyeglasses may think they offer enough protection against any eye hazards you may encounter. Think again! On impact, regular lenses tend to shatter more easily. Safety lenses may shatter, but they require a much greater impact.
Various types of eye protective devices have been designed, including safety glasses, goggles, and full-face shields. Their uses differ according to the type of work. That’s why OSHA requires that the specific hazards of a workplace be analyzed to determine just which types of protective equipment are appropriate.
That’s how the type of eye protection we require was selected. But that’s only the first step. The next step is the one you take-wearing it. You never know when an accident will occur, and sight was never saved while safety glasses were worn on the forehead or carried in the pocket.
Contact lenses should not be worn any place there is a chance of foreign matter, especially harmful liquids, entering the eyes. Liquids can get trapped under a contact lens. Frequently, before a lens is removed and the eye is flushed with water, delicate eye tissue has already been damaged. You may think you don’t look good wearing goggles or safety glasses, or that you look your best only with contact lenses. You shouldn’t allow these thoughts to interfere with eye safety, because you are exposing yourself to the possibility of an accident that could blind you.
Detection and correction of vision problems can also prevent eye injury by preventing accidents, because you need good eyesight to perform your job efficiently and safely. Periodic eye examinations are a must, because they are often the only way people learn that their vision is defective. That can happen because defects may develop so gradually that changes go unnoticed.
So you should be sure to have your eyes examined and your vision tested annually. If you are more than 40 years old, this examination should include a test for glaucoma, a condition of increased pressure in the eyeball, which is responsible for a large percentage of blindness in adults. If defects are found, steps can be taken to correct them. With clear vision, you will be able to spot and correct or avoid hazards in your environment.
Adequate illumination is also necessary if you are to perform your job safely. We believe that’s what we have provided, but by all means report to your supervisor if you think lighting is inadequate or if light bulbs or fluorescent tubes need to be replaced.
Don’t risk losing one of your most precious possessions, your eyesight. Wear the required eye protection when needed and encourage others to do the same. If an accident happens, you’ll be very glad you did.
Eye protection is the most important protective gear you can wear. If you’re not wearing safety glasses or goggles on the job, you’re risking permanent eye damage and blindness. Think about all the work activities you may do each day that can cause eye injury: grinding, sanding, brushing, sawing, drilling, buffing, hammering, cutting, welding and working with chemicals. A speck of dust flying from a power sander, traveling at the speed of a bullet, can severely and pennanently injure your eye.
If your job involves hazards from dust, flying objects or particles that may strike you from in front, you should be using safety glasses. They may look similar to normal street.wear glasses, but they’re made of much stronger lenses. The lenses of safety glasses are specifically designed to be impact resistant, and the frames are built to keep the lenses from being pushed into your eyes. You can’t get this land of protection from regular prescription glasses.
Types of Safety Glasses
- All safety glasses must meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for strength and heat resistance. Look for the “ANSI Z87“ imprint on the frames of your safety glasses.
- Some safety glasses have side shields to provide protection for the sides of your eyes.
- Eye-cup side shields curve around your eye area providing protection for the front, side, top and bottom of your eyes.
- For high-impact protection, choose lenses of plastic or polycarbonate, the most impact-resistant material used.
- Glass lenses protect against scratches from dust and grit better than other lenses.
Safety goggles offer effective protection from impact. flying particles coming from many different directions, fumes, vapors, dust and chemical splashes.
For this reason, safety goggles should be worn when grinding, chipping, riveting and working with wood, chemicals and fumes.
Safety goggles are surrounded by a shield that fits snugly on your face all
the way around your eyes. Because of their snug fit, the shields of standard safety goggles have ventilation holes to keep them from fogging up. Some goggles have hooded or indirect ventilation openings to keep out thick hazardous dust, chemical splashes or molten materials. There are many special types of safety goggles designed for specific jobs. Ask your supervisor which type of goggles your job requires.
Types of Safety Goggles
- wire-screen goggles with wire•mesh lenses instead of glass or plastic
- respirator goggles with a high nose bridge so they can fit with a half-mask respirator
- rubber-frame goggles to protect from fast-moving, fine dust “” visor goggles to shade from overhead lights and protect from falling particles
- splash goggles with no ventilation, to protect against chemical splashes and hazardous mists and dusts
- tinted goggles to reduce glare from bright lights or molten materials
Care and Use of Your Safety Eyewear
- Use the right eyewear for your job .
- If you find your eye protection uncomfortable, try a different size or style.
- Remember to regularly inspect your eye protection equipment for wear and damage, such as scratches and cracks.
- Never wear worn, damaged or otherwise defective equipment.
- Keep your equipment clean according to the manufacturer’s instructions and store it in a clean, dry place.
- You may need to wear a headband or strap with safety glasses to keep them from falling off.
- If you wear prescription glasses, use special goggles to fit over them, or get safety glasses with your prescription .
- Make sure your goggles fit snugly but comfortably around the bridge of your nose, cheeks, temples and forehead.
- If you wear contact lenses, let your supervisor know. Your company may have a special policy.
- Make sure eye protection equipment conforms to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards.