OSHA minimum requirements:
OSHA established a minimum standard for both employer and employee dealing with eye and face protection. It simply states;
“the employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, liquids, chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gasses or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation”.
Eyes are a very delicate organ of the human body. It doesn’t take a strong blow to do a lot of damage. Just a tiny spec of dust, a tiny sliver of metal, a small drop of a hazardous chemical can do extensive and permanent damage.
Remember-there is no quick fix for an injured eye. Once your sight is gone there is nothing known to medical science as of today that can replace it.
Your best defense is prevention. There are numerous eye and safety products available on the market today to protect employees on the job. Identify all the potential eye hazards in the workplace and research the best possible means of prevention.
Here are a few things to consider;
• Are you dealing with flying debris? If so then use safety glasses with side shields to protect employees from debris coming from all around them.
• Are you dealing with hard impacts to the front of the face from grinding or other flying debris? If so use a safety lens SEI certified Z87 or higher.
• Are you dealing with chemical splashes? Consider full face protection shields.
Here are a couple of other tips;
• Contact lenses were NEVER meant to be eye protection.
• Never try to remove foreign matter from your or anyone else’s eye, you may make the condition worse. Always seek medical attention.
• Make sure you have the proper fit on your safety eyewear. Take the time to adjust them for fit and comfort. Safety gear that is uncomfortable or cumbersome to wear is more often not worn when needed.
• Have an eye examination on a regular schedule. Poor vision accounts for many industrial accidents.
• Keep your eyewear clean. Keep them in a carrying case and prevent them from getting scratched. Scratched lenses can affect the impact resistance of safety glasses and render them less effective.
• Finally, when in doubt about eye protection needed, consult a supervisor and never take your eyes for granted. You only have one pair and they must last your lifetime.