Only One Pair: Protect Workers’ Eyes on the Job

eyesafety

As an employer, you need to promote and enforce the use of eye protection when it is necessary. Educate your workers about the importance of eye protection so they will automatically reach for it before they put their eye health at risk.

Safety glasses provide good protection. They provide even better protection if they properly fit and cared for.

CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety) offers these suggestions regarding the fit and care of your safety glasses.

  • Ensure safety glasses fit properly and are individually assigned and fitted.
  • Wear safety glasses so temples fit comfortably over the ears. The frame should be as close to the face as possible and adequately supported by the bridge of the nose.
  • Clean safety glasses daily and avoid activities that can scratch lenses.
  • Store safety glasses in a clean, dry place to protect them from damage. Keep them in a case when they’re not being worn.
  • Replace safety glasses if they are scratched, pitted, broken, bent or ill-fitting.
  • Replace damaged parts with identical parts from the original manufacturer.

When you need to provide workers with the supplies they need to stay safe on the job, count on Seton. Give us a call at 855-581-1218 or visit http://www.seton.ca and we can help you select the safety products you need.

See Clearly: How to Select and Care for Your Eye Protection

eyeprotection

Because many eye hazards exist in the workplace, it’s important to provide proper eye protection to keep workers safe.

If eye protection is necessary, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) suggests establishing an eye safety protection program that includes selection, fit testing, training, maintenance and inspection.

CCOHS offers these tips regarding the fit and care of safety glasses:

Fit of Safety Glasses

Eye size, bridge size and temple length vary from person to person, so safety glasses should be assigned and fitted according to individual needs.

Safety glasses should be worn so that the temples fit comfortably over the wearer’s ears. The frame should be as close to the face as possible and supported by the bridge of the nose.

Care of Safety Glasses

It’s important to properly maintain all personal protective equipment (PPE), including eye protection.  To keep safety glasses in good working condition:

  • Clean safety glasses daily and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Store safety glasses in a clean, dry place to protect them from damage. Keep them in a case when they are not being worn.
  • Replace scratched, pitted, broken, bent or ill-fitting glasses.
  • Replace damaged parts only with identical parts from the original manufacturer to ensure the same safety rating.

Before purchasing any eye protection for your workers, assess their needs so you acquire the most effective protection for their jobs.

When you provide eye protection to your workers, do you provide training on how to effectively use it, and do you communicate how to keep it in good condition?

A Look at PPE and Why It Is Essential

ppe

Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is designed to protect employees from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical or other workplace hazards. Besides face shields, safety eyewear, hard hats and safety shoes, PPE includes a variety of devices and garments, such as coveralls, gloves, vests, earplugs and respirators.

In order to know what kinds of PPE workers need, it is important to know what kinds of hazards they may encounter on the job. A thorough hazard assessment of the workplace will help to determine what hazards are present that require the use of PPE. Once hazards are identified, supervisors must select protective equipment that fits properly and then communicate PPE expectations and procedures to all workers.

Employees required to wear PPE must be trained on the following:

❑ How to use, maintain, and dispose of PPE properly

❑ When PPE is necessary

❑ What kind of PPE is necessary

❑ The limitations of PPE

❑ How to put on, adjust, wear and take off PPE

PPE can protect workers from head to toe, and protect YOU from compliance-related fines and shut downs. All PPE should be of safe design and construction, and be maintained in a clean and reliable fashion. Most protective devices are available in multiple sizes and care should be taken to select the proper size for each employee. Taking fit and comfort into consideration will encourage employee use. If several different types of PPE are worn together, make sure they are compatible. If PPE does not fit properly, it can mean the difference between being safely covered or dangerously exposed.

A Closer Look at Eye Safety

EyeInjuries

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) estimates that 700 Canadians per day sustain eye injuries on the job, often resulting in lost time and/or vision loss. They also claim that 75% of vision loss is preventable. As Canadians celebrate Healthy Workplace Month as well as Eye Health Month in October, we couldn’t help but take a peek at this critical workplace safety issue.

Main causes of eye injuries

  • Wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job – Many injured workers rely on eyeglasses without side shields. This allows debris, dust or vapors to get around the lenses and into the eye.
  • Flying particles – Almost 70 percent of accidents that cause eye injuries are a result of flying or falling objects or sparks striking the eye. Most of the objects are smaller than a pinhead and travelling faster than a hand-thrown object.
  • Contact with chemicals – Chemicals cause about 20% of eye injuries. Other contact accidents are caused by objects swinging from a fixed or attached position, like tree limbs, ropes, chains or tools.

Potential eye hazards can be found in nearly every industry, but tend to occur most commonly among craft workers, such as mechanics, repairers, carpenters and plumbers. More than a third of the injured workers were operatives, i.e. assemblers, sanders and grinding machine operators. Laborers suffered about one-fifth of the eye injuries. Almost half of the injured workers were in manufacturing.

Types of protection 

The most common form of eye protection for general working conditions is safety glasses with side protection. The next step up is safety goggles, which provide better impact, dust and chemical splash protection than glasses. In some cases, it may be important to protect the face as well as the eyes. Faceshields can protect the face from spraying, chipping, grinding, and chemical and bloodborne hazards.

Each type of eye protection has a wide variety of specialized options designed to guard against very specific types of hazards. CCOHS has more information on how to choose the right product for the job.

Creating Effective PPE Programs: Four Easy Tips

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Everyday, workers face potential hazards in the workplace. Slips, trip hazards, falling objects, ergonomic hazards, mechanical hazards, chemical radiation, and biohazards are all occupational hazards.  To ensure you and your workers are safe, you need to use proper protection.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to protect the wearer against safety and health hazards. These tools help prevent or reduce the severity of injury if an accident occurs. The PPE you will use will depend on the work conditions, the work environment, and the task being performed. You also need to consult with the Occupational Health and Safety ActRegulations for Construction Projects (O. Reg. 213/91), and the Canada Labour Code for legal PPE requirements.

A strong PPE program in your workplace will help address the safety hazards in your facility. An effective protection plan must consider these three elements:

1.) Protection of workers

2.) Compliance with government laws, regulations, and company standards

3.) Technical feasibility

If you don’t have a program in place yet, now is the best time to start one. To help you get started on creating an effective PPE program, here are the four major things you need to follow:

Assessment

First, you need to select the jobs, processes, or procedures you are going to assess. Do a survey of the worksite and identify hazards that workers will be exposed to while doing the work. Use a Hazard Identification Form to record all identified hazards. For each identified hazard, review and discuss ways of control and PPE options that may be used. Always remember to try and control the hazard first and see if it can be removed without resorting to using PPE .

PPE Selection

When you have determined that PPE is needed to address the hazards, list down which PPE will be used. You need to determine the degree of protection required and the appropriateness of the equipment to the situation. Here are some guidelines on available PPE to help you in your selection:

ppecloth

a)       Skin Protection

PPE for skin protection includes protective gloves and clothing such as vests, aprons, raincoats, coveralls, and boots. These can be made from different materials such as rubber, latex, pvc, leather, Kevlar®, and many more. But no single material can protect you from all chemical hazards. Ask your PPE product manufacturer or supplier which specific protective materials are best for the chemicals you are working with. Also check your PPE if they meet temperature conditions, or can withstand punctures, tears and abrasions.

b)      Eye/Face Protection

You need to use eye and face protections if there is a possibility of injury from exposure to airborne particles or splashes of toxic or corrosive liquids. Safety glasses, chemical splash goggles, and face shields are some examples of this type of PPE. Safety glasses/goggles are worn when working with hazardous chemicals while a face shield should be used when there is a risk of splashing, leaks or dangerous reactions.

c)       Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection is needed when airborne chemicals can’t be controlled below safe exposure limits. There are two types of respirators: air-purifying respirators and supplied air respirators. Air-purifying respirators use filters or cartridges to remove contaminants while supplied air respirators provide clean air for breathing. Selection of PPE must be done by a qualified person who has assessed the work situation in your facility.

d)       Fall Protection

Fall protection prevents workers in construction and other industries from deadly falls from high places. Lanyards, body harness, belts, carbiners, and straps are just some of the fall protection tools available.

e)       PPE Signs and Labels

PPE signs and labels help remind workers to wear the necessary equipment. These also identify and alert workers and visitors to hazardous areas or situations.

Training

After the assessment and selection, employers must ensure that workers are trained to properly use, maintain and store PPE. Employees must:

a)       Undergo hands-on training in the fit, use, and maintenance of assigned PPE

b)       Understand the limitations of PPE, and know what to do in the event of exposure or equipment failure

c)       Know when to discard or replace PPE

d)       Report any missing or broken device to the supervisor or person in charge

If a worker fails to meet any of these four conditions, or if the PPE requirement of the worker changes, he or she must repeat the training.

Documentation

You need to keep records of every step of your PPE program – from assessment to implementation. This will help you in your annual assessment of your program, including determining if areas need improvement or if you need additional PPE for your tasks.

Using the right PPE in your workplace is very important. Though it may not totally eliminate workplace hazards in your facility, you and your workers are assured that you have the proper tools to protect from these hazards.

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Protection For Eyes’ Sake

Eye Protection

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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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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A Guide to Protecting Your Eyes

Safety Glasses

Of all the senses humans possess, the sense of sight is the one we rely on the most. The ability to see is vital for most functions in society from shortly after a person is born, and will be relied on all throughout that person’s life.

The importance of eyesight makes protecting one’s sense of sight a paramount priority. And yet, according to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), every day over two hundred workers in Canada sustain an eye injury while on the job. These injuries are not only common, but extremely costly and potentially life-changing, should an eye injury result in permanent vision impairment or blindness. The effect that sudden loss of vision can have on a worker can be devastating to morale, as well as to the lifestyle and livelihood of victims and their families.

Even injuries that do not result in permanent damage rack up considerable costs in terms of medical care, rehabilitation, lost time and productivity, and increased insurance premiums. This makes preventing workers from suffering and risking eye injuries through comprehensive and effective protection all the more critical.

The first line of defense
Proper safety protocol and effective hazard mitigation aside, the first line of defense for any worker facing potential hazards to his or her vision is being equipped with effective and appropriate safety eyewear.

Protective eyewear takes many forms, the most common being safety glasses and eye goggles:

  •  Safety Glasses – Among the most commonly used protective eyewear, safety glasses are typically made of plastic or other durable material and are designed to protect the eyes against dust, stray particles or bits of wood, stone, or metal (particularly in manufacturing settings), or smoke. Safety glasses are typically impact-resistant to prevent cracking and occasionally treated with anti-fog, anti-scratch, or radiation-filtering coatings depending on the cost and intended use. Some designs may include side shields or be shaped to be worn over prescription glasses.
  • Eye Goggles – Also called safety goggles, eye goggles are a type of safety eyewear ideally suited for dirty and high-particulate work environments and jobs that involve both hands, such as equipment handling, grinding, lumberjacking, sanding, and chipping. Safety goggles typically come with a strap to keep them secure on the face, and often have rubberized or padded frames for a more snug fit that keeps out dirt and other irritants. Eye goggles also prevent chemicals, waste or other fluids from splashing into a worker’s eyes, in fields like food production, water or sewage management, and chemical processing.

Properly protecting your peepers
It’s not always an easy task to select the most appropriate type of protective eyewear, given the diversity both of tasks and safety eyewear design types. Here are a few helpful tips to make your job easier and safer:

  1.  Be aware of the hazards and dangers any given task presents, and try to match your selection of safety glasses or eye goggles to the job at hand.
  2. Look for the mark of the Canadian Standards Association, which indicates that a product (not limited to safety eyewear) meets or exceeds existing safety standards.
  3. Once equipped, keep the lenses of your safety glasses or eye goggles clean, using tools such as lens wipes or protective eyewear lens cleaning stations, if available in your workplace.

Your eyesight is tightly linked to your life and livelihood. Keep it safe as you work with safety eyewear, and go to the future with clarity.

 

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