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Eye Safety Information
Safety Glasses - ANSI Z87.1-2015 New Standards · Safety Glasses - Old ANSI Z87.1-2010 Standards · Safety Glasses - Clip On Side Shields Instructions · Safety Glasses - Eye Safety Guidelines · Safety Glasses - Glossary of Terms · Safety Glasses - Lens Tint Descriptions · Safety Glasses - Maintenance · Safety Glasses - Polarized Information · Safety Glasses - UV Light ·
What is your most important sense? If you said the sense of sight, you would probably be right up there among what most others would say. How can you ensure the safety of this precious gift of sight? What can employers do to help ensure eye safety on the job? What does the government (OSHA) require that employers do to ensure eye safety?
These are important questions that must be considered by individuals as well as by employers. Sometimes it is just something very little in the eye that can cause severe damage or even blindness. Precaution is not only sensible; it is the right thing to do.
Common hazards in the workplace, in a home workshop, or while doing yard maintenance include: small particles of dust, concrete, metal, branches, and other small particles that can blow or fall into one's eye; shifting or falling debris, glass, or other building materials; noxious/poisonous gases or smoke; chemicals; electrical arc and welding light; fire and thermal hazards, bloodborne pathogens.
Common injuries include: corneal abrasions; particles or slivers becoming embedded in the eye; chemical splash or burn; welder's flashburn; eyeball lacerations; facial contusion and/or black eye; exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
What can be done to prevent eye injuries?
In the workplace, the first thing to consider is having a safe work environment. Everyone involved should take account of possible hazards and make every effort to minimize falling hazards and unstable materials.
Efforts must be made to ensure that tools work properly and safety features such as machine guards are in place and being utilized properly. Training must be provided to ensure that workers and volunteers know how to properly use tools. Furthermore, keep bystanders out of hazard areas.
Next, it is essential that workers in areas of potentially hazardous situations, use proper eye and face protection. Employers have the duty to insist that the proper Z87.1 standard safety glasses be utilized for the job at hand. The eye protectors must be in good condition and fit each employee properly. Even with eye protection, accidents might happen so each workplace must have well-stocked first-aid kits readily available for eye injuries and other first aid needs.
Some other considerations – always use safety glasses with side protection such as a wrap-around style or with side shields in hazardous conditions; use safety glasses that have been treated for anti-fog; use eyewear retainer to keep the glasses fitting tightly to the face or hanging from the neck when not in use.
Use goggles for higher impact protection and greater protection from chemical splash, dust and welding light. Goggles for fine dust protection or splash protection should have indirect venting. Hybrid safety glasses and goggles afford better protection.
Use face shields for highest impact, full-face protection for chipping, grinding, spraying and chemical or bloodborne hazards. For welding, lens must be marked with the shade number 1.5-14 (the darkest shade). Full-face respirators provide the best dust, smoke and chemical protection and must not interfere with the proper positioning of the eye protection. Workers who wear prescription glasses should wear tight-fitting goggles over their normal glasses or contact lenses.
It is crucial to always shake, brush or vacuum dust and debris from hardhats, forehead, hair, or the top of the eye protectors before removing to prevent foreign substances in the eye. Also, it is important to clean eyewear regularly and to refrain from rubbing eyes with dirty hands or clothing.
Protection and safety go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other!
What does the government (OSHA) require employers to do to ensure eye safety?
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires that safety eye wear must conform to the most recent ANSI/ISEA (American National Standards Institute/International Safety Equipment Association). Standards are evaluated and revised periodically by the Z87 Committee on Safety Eye and Face Protection. The ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015 Standard prescribes the design, performance specifications, and markings of eye and face protection products for the specific job applications.