How to Promote Better On-the-Job Eye Safety
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2019, the construction industry had the second-highest eye injury rate, accounting for over 13% of all on the job injuries. Eye injuries cost companies more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.
Who provides employees with personal protective equipment?
Employers are responsible for providing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) that makes the workplace safe and healthy. When it comes to eye safety, how does a safety officer or job foreman select the right type of safety eyewear for employees? Start first by reviewing USA Standard for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection: ANSI Z87.1-1989.
What does OSHA tell us about PPE?
In a document covering personal protective equipment (PPE), OSHA states that. “Many occupational eye injuries occur because employees are not wearing any eye protection while others result from wearing improper or poorly fitting eye protection. Employers must be sure that their employees wear appropriate eye and face protection and that the selected form of protection is appropriate to the work being performed and properly fits each employee exposed to the hazard”.
Employers must review the issues surrounding eye safety in the workplace. Here are the safety factors that OSHA recommends the PPE buyer consider when purchasing PPE eyewear:
Who should wear protective eyewear on the job?
Exposed Employees should always be considered when purchasing protective eyewear. This includes:
Sheet metal employees
Grinding machine operators
Chemical process operators
If there is a question about who should be covered, employers should make a hazard assessment and take the appropriate action as indicated from the findings.
Common types of eye and face protection
Safety Spectacles - Constructed of metal or plastic with impact-resistant lenses. Some have side shields for extra protection.
Goggles - Provides protection from impact, dust and splashes, goggles completely cover the eyes, eye sockets and the facial area immediately surrounding the eyes.
Face Shields - Protects against nuisance dusts and potential splashes or sprays of hazardous liquids. Offers secondary protection against impact and must be worn with spectacles or goggles.
Can prescription glasses or contact lens serve as PPE?
Prescription Lenses do not offer proper protection. Protective eyewear must cover prescription glasses and contact lenses without disturbing the proper positioning of the employee’s lenses. Companies such as Pyramex Safety Solutions offer glasses that fill this need with their OTS line of safety glasses. Designed to better fit prescription eyewear, these glasses are available for every type of workplace safety circumstance.
Contact BlackHawk for more information
BlackHawk Industrial offers a variety of PPE options including solutions from Pyramex Safety Solutions. We are ready to take your questions and offer expert assistance with your threading questions. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us TOLL FREE at (855) 610-1001.
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