Workers on duty make up more than thirty five per cent of roughly 720,000 Canadians who sustain eye injuries every year. But just when you think this figure makes it “dime a dozen,” consider the loss in production time and financial damage it brings — or, better yet, the toll of temporary or permanent vision loss on the employee’s life.
Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) reports that common eye hazards at work are flying or falling objects, airborne particles, welding and cutting, and chemical handling. These elements and activities can cause black eye, corneal abrasion and laceration, welder’s flash, and burns and splashes respectively. But, really, what industrial workplace doesn’t have dangers?
Putting emphasis on and practicing safety measures is the key. Failure of doing so is a contributing factor in any occupational injury.
Identify potential eye hazards
For starters, scrupulous assessment of the workplace is essential in identifying potential eye hazards and what is needed to avert such debilitating incidents. The risks posed by large machinery, shifting materials, falling debris, and even workers nearby shouldn’t be missed.
Eliminate eye hazards
Get to the bottom of potential dangers and eliminate it. Otherwise, clearing off or shielding necessary areas can minimize eye hazards. Moreover, make sure tools are in perfect working condition and that they are used and operated only by trained workers.
Provide the right eye protection
If complete elimination of hazards is not possible, select and use proper eye protection that meets or exceeds CAS (Canadian Standards Association) Z94.3 standard or marked with “ANSI Z87.1”. Keep in mind, however, that specific eye hazard calls for specific eye protection.
- Safety Glasses are the most common kind of protective eyewear that often looks like streetwear glasses. They come with impact- and shatter-resistant lenses and frames. Although they prevent particles and shards from striking the eye, their gaps at the sides, top and bottom allow dusts and chemical splashes and vapors to seep through. Perhaps for this reason, safety goggles are made.
- Safety Goggles’ impact-resistant design seals the eye area, providing the eyes with maximum protection from particulates and chemical splashes. Goggles have three forms: directly vented goggles for direct airflow, indirectly vented goggles for airflow but with covered vent, and non-vented goggles for complete dust and vapor protection (but should not be mistaken for gas-proof goggles).
How one perceives the world largely lies in his eyesight. And no dollar figure can make up for missing out on life when vision is lost. So leave no room for hazards to poke you in the eye. Protect your eyes by identifying hazards, eliminating them at the source, and gearing up with safety procedures and protective equipment.
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