March is Eye Safety month and today I am going to talk about some different tips and tricks for Eye Safety. Workplace Eye Safety is important and I know from personal experience that eye protection won’t stop everything but it will help. I have had metal removed from my eyes and I have removed metal from me Dad’s eyes. I know for a fact that I had my safety glasses on. Also, my Dad states that he had his on as well.
How Common are Eye Injuries
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain serious job-related eye injuries every day. When one factors in the number of eye injuries that occur in home and garage workshops similar to hat my Dad and I had happen, it’s clear that lack of eye safety is extremely common. So, here are some tips for protecting your most valuable sense, your vision.
Always Wear Protective Eyewear
The most common workplace eye injuries are sustained from:
- Projectiles, such as metal, concrete, grass, wood , or other particles (I have even seen dog poop here from the yard)
- Radiation, (from visible light, ultraviolet light, heat, and lasers) like flash or welders burn
- Chemicals, like acids and bases from splashes and fumes
- Bloodborne pathogens, like hepatitis from blood and body fluids
A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of workers who suffered eye injuries revealed that nearly three out of five were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident. Almost 90% of workplace eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eye glasses!
Proper Lighting Helps Workplace Safety
Working with proper lighting while basic, but an often-overlooked machine safety tip is crucial to ensuring workshop safety. Wood shavings and dust can make it hard to see what you are doing. In the best case scenario, this will only cause you to ruin your work; in the worst-case scenario, it could cause a serious eye injury or other injury. While no matter how bright the area if there is dust in the air it is impossible to see you still want a well lit area.
Eye Safety First
While all employees are ultimately responsible for their own safety. I know it is very important to build an overall culture of safety at your workplace. I tell my kids all the time that slow is fast and fast is slow. What I mean by that is that it is much faster to take your time and do the task correctly the first time. Otherwise, you risk having to repeat the task multiple times because you were trying to go fast. So, take your time and implement multiple safety checks. Never let an employee use machining equipment alone without someone else nearby. If you are operating alone, make sure a family member is at home when you are operating a machine, if possible. By the way having my Mom at the house is a requirement for my Dad to be allowed to do any machine work.
Maintain Tools Properly
Check all equipment for any loose, damaged or missing parts, especially guards and shields. Cutting tools should also be sharp at all times. It may should strange, but a dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one.
Workplace Eye Safety
I hope that these tips can keep at least 1 person from having an eye injury. However, if you do have an eye injury, our Owasso Eye Doctor is available to help you.