Eye Safety

What can be said about protecting your eyes? It is pretty basic: “You would be very foolish indeed if you did not protect your eyes at all times while on the job.”  Your eyes, one of the most important organs on your body, yet we take them for granted and fail to protect them perhaps more than any other body part. Thousands of eye injuries occur annually to municipal workers. 

Eye protection devices have been used in workplaces since 1910. While the original eye protection devices were limited, today there are eye protection devices for every type of exposure.

While wearing eye protection at all times is strongly encouraged, many projects demand that workers wear eye protection. Just a few examples are:

  • Chipping, sledging, and hammering on metal, stone, or concrete

  • Use of manual, pneumatic, and power impact tools

  • Caulking, brushing, and grinding

  • Drilling, scaling, and scraping

  • Babbiting, soldering, and casting hot metals

  • Handling acids, caustics, and creosoted materials

  • Gas welding, cutting, and brazing

  • Drilling overhead

  • In environments with excessive dust or debris in the air

  • Electric arc welding and cutting, and other operations that expose the eyes to flying particles, dust, hot liquids, molten substances, gases, fumes, liquids, or excessive light.

Some people just don’t like to wear safety glasses and goggles. One of the complaints is that goggles tend to fog up. Fogging happens when sweat vaporizes and coats the inside of the lens. If you have this problem with goggles or glasses, wear a handkerchief or sweatband around your forehead to keep perspiration out.

Another complaint is that eye protection devices are uncomfortable, but usually this is because the eye protection device does not fit properly. Make sure that you have the device properly adjusted for the correct fit or simply get another type that fits better. You can see better out of a properly fitting eye protection device than you can from a glass eye or three layers of scar tissue.

Like all safety devices, eye protection is there for you and your eyes. Be smart and use eye protection at all times when on the job and when you’re doing chores at home. What do you have to lose, but your SIGHT!

Contact OMAG Loss Control Services if you have questions or suggestions for other topics related to Municipal Workplace Safety Issues. 1(800) 234-9461 or email kprichard@omag.org.

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