Typical eye injuries occur by rubbed or abraded foreign matter, such as metal chips, dirt particles, and splinters. Other injury can be by striking the eye. Surface wounds, such as abrasions, scratches, and foreign bodies (splinters and chips) are among the most common types of injuries to the eyes. Other hazards include, but are not limited to, chemicals, adhesives, radiation, tools, and equipment. The highest categories contributing to eye injuries are related to household, the workplace and sports.
On-the-job eye protection
You may be exposed to several hazards at the same time. The right equipment can protect your eyes against irritation and injury. If you need prescription eyeglasses, make sure your goggles or spectacles have prescription eyeglass lenses or wear extra protection over your prescription eyeglasses. Contact lenses don’t provide protection from on-the-job eye hazards and in fact if you wear contact lenses, be extra cautious around gases, vapors, fumes, and dust. Possible reaction can occur. Wear eye protection equipment in addition to contact lenses. Most of what we do requires the use of safety glasses. But some jobs require added protection. Certainly welding requires special protection and remember to wear those safety glasses under the welding hood. Chipping or grinding and the use of power hand tools calls for added protection. In addition to those safety glasses or goggles, wear a face shield. Handling chemicals also requires the use of a face shield over your safety glasses.
4 out of 10 accidents that cause blindness happen at home. Off-the-job eye injuries happen because of do-it-yourself work on cars and homes, cooking accidents, chemical splashes, and sports injuries. These injuries can be prevented with proper personal protective equipment. Wear the right protection for the job you are doing. Choose sunglasses that offer protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Wear eye protection while doing repair jobs, working in your home shop, working with power equipment and working with chemicals at home. Wear proper eye protection when participating in sports. Wear eye protection over contact lenses and prescription eyeglasses.
What to do in case of emergency
Chemical Splash—Don’t squeeze eyes shut.
Hold them open with thumb and index finger and flood the eyes with cool, clean water for 15-20 minutes. Get medical help as soon as possible. Take the container or at least the label or MSDS with you to the medical facility.
Flying Particles—Don’t remove anything that is embedded in the eye. You may cause further damage. Don’t pull or squeeze the eye. Cover both eyes to prevent eye movement. Get medical attention ASAP.
Radiation Injuries or Burns—If the eyes are exposed to intense heat, flames, lasers, or arc welding radiation, apply ice packs to relieve the pain and seek medical attention immediately.
Blows to the Eyes—Apply ice packs to control swelling and relieve the pain. Cover both eyes to prevent movement. Get medical attention ASAP.
Eyestrain—Glare, poor lighting and long periods spent at video display terminals can cause eye fatigue, soreness and headaches. Work or read with adequate lighting and give your eyes an occasional rest from tedious tasks.
The use of proper eye protection would eliminate most of these injuries. We are committed to providing appropriate PPE for the work that we do. The proper PPE should be available at your work place, if it is not, bring that to someone’s attention.
Take care of your eyes, you only have two!