6 Tips for Workplace Eye Safety
October is National Eye Injury Prevention Month, and as simple as it sounds, your workers can best protect themselves by wearing their safety glasses.
Each day about 2000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. – CDC
Here’s 6 Tips for Workplace Eye Safety to keep you safe this month and beyond!
Tip 1. Match Your Protection to Your Hazards
OSHA requires using eye and face protection for workers exposed to hazards that can be injurious to the eyes. This can include flying objects, chemicals, vapors, particles, and harmful light radiation. Does your work area require protective eye-wear? To find out conduct a thorough walk through and assess all types of hazards present. Then, select the appropriate safety eyewear.
Tip 2. Clear, Safe Views
Safety eyewear must provide physical protection as well as a clear view when being used. Today’s advances in lens coatings provide more ways than ever to ensure optical clarity, even in extreme environments.
In high-grit or high-particulate environments, anti-scratch eyewear is a necessity. Lenses treated with anti-scratch hardcoat can provide up to five times more scratch resistance than untreated lenses.
Hot or humid environments would benefit from anti-fog safety glasses which deliver long-lasting protection from condensation.
Coated lenses afford exceptional value as they are more durable than non-coated lenses and last longer.
When workers can see clearly through their protective lenses, they are more likely to wear the them continuously resulting in a better protected workforce.
Tip 3. Comfortable Compliance
Workers are more likely to remove safety eyewear if its uncomfortable or unsightly, even if there are hazards present. The safety glasses of today range in style and offer superior comfort.
By being mindful of proper fit and comfort, as well as style, safety managers can help ensure employees’ acceptance of protective eyewear and boost safety compliance.
Tip 4. Safety Culture Commitment
A comprehensive safety culture starts at the top, with eye safety. Our eyes are worth protecting. With organization-wide commitment to eye safety practices, workers and managers alike can visibly confirm who is compliant, encourage those who aren’t, and provide positive feedback. Employees empowered to support their own safety and the safety of their peers’ are much more effective than a single safety authority.
Tip 5. Avoid the Cost of Not Protecting Workers
When a worker loses sight due to an accident, the cost to that individual is immense. What may not be as obvious are the staggering costs a company pays as a result of an eye injury.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that workplace eye injuries cost employers more than $934 million in direct and indirect costs each year.
Eye injury-related costs to a company are complex and vary greatly. Before an eye injury occurs, consider what it may cost to your organization. Starting safe and maintaining safety is always cheaper than compensating after the event.
Tip 6. Eye Injury First-Aid
There are a lot of steps in the workplace to prevent eye injuries but you should still be prepared for them to happen.
Make sure to have a comprehensive first aid kit on hand to address any work-related injuries. In particular you should have eye wash and eye drops readily on-hand.
For minor irritation caused by dust or grit, eye wash rinse will likely do the trick. However, for more serious eye injuries (exposure to acids or chemicals) the use of an emergency eyewash station will be necessary.
When it comes to protecting your workforce, be sure that eye safety is a top priority.
The best practices of Workplace Eye Safety revolve around selecting and providing the proper eyewear, ensuring a clear view and comfortable fit, and empowering employees in a safety culture.
Following these simple tips in your business can significantly overall safety strategy – and your bottom line.
Follow these 6 simple tips to ensure a safe work environment free of eye injuries.