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National Health Observances

Eye Safety at Work

Eye injuries in the workplace are very common. More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. About 1 in 10 injuries require one or more missed workdays to recover from. Of the total amount of work-related injuries, 10-20 % will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.

Experts believe that the right eye protection could have lessened the severity or even prevented 90% of eye injuries in accidents.

What are the Common Causes of Workplace Eye Injuries?

Common causes for eye injuries are:

·         Flying objects (bits of metal, glass)

·         Tools

·         Particles

·         Chemicals

·         Harmful radiation

·         Any combination of these or other hazards

What is my Best Defense Against an Eye Injury?

There are three things you can do to help prevent an eye injury:

·         Know the eye safety dangers at work-complete an eye hazard assessment

·         Eliminate hazards before starting work. Use machine guarding, work screens, or other engineering controls

·         Use proper eye protection.

When Should I Protect My Eyes at Work?

You should wear safety eyewear whenever there is a chance of eye injury. Anyone working in or passing through areas that pose eye hazards should wear protective eyewear.

What Type of Safety Eyewear is Available to Me?

Safety eyewear protection includes:

·         Non-prescription and prescription safety glasses

·         Goggles

·         Face shields

·         Welding helmets

·         Full-face respirators

What Type of Safety Eye Protection Should I Wear?

The type of safety eye protection you should wear depends on the hazards in your workplace. If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects, or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields). If you are working with chemicals, you should wear goggles. If you are working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics) you must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task.

What is The Difference Between Glass, Plastic, and Polycarbonate Lenses?

All three types of safety lenses meet or exceed the requirements for protecting your eyes.

Glass lenses

·         Are not easily scratched

·         Can be used around harsh chemicals

·         Can be made in your corrective prescription

·         Are sometimes heavy and uncomfortable

Plastic lenses

·         Are lighter weight

·         Protect against welding splatter

·         Are not likely to fog

·         Are not as scratch-resistant as glass

Polycarbonate lenses

·         Are lightweight

·         Protect against welding splatter

·         Are not likely to fog

·         Are stronger than glass and plastic

·         Are more impact resistant than glass or plastic

·         Are not as scratch resistant as glass