Safety Alert: Eye Protection

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Safety Alert: Eye Protection

Hazard Alert: Eye Protection - U.S. Dept. of Labor 2015

Metal piece embedded in lens of safety glassesA mechanic was using a hammer and a chisel to remove a bit from the blade of a road grader. As he struck the chisel with the hammer, a sliver of metal broke off the chisel and became embedded in the mechanic's safety glasses. The mechanic was not injured.

Workers are regularly exposed to workplace hazards that pose dangers to their eyes. Eye injuries are most often caused by:

  • Flying particles
  • Chemical splashes, vapors, or dust
  • Being struck by or bumping into an object
  • Sparks or molten metal and other hot liquid splashes
  • Light radiation from welding

Studies show that 90 per cent of workplace eye injuries can be prevented when proper eye protection is worn. Most injuries occur when a worker is not wearing eye protection at the time of the incident. In other instances, miners, for example, were wearing eye protection but the eyewear did not adequately protect against the specific hazard involved.

Best Practices

  • Wear properly rated and maintained protective eyewear before working in an area where flying particles may be present, welding, cutting, working with molten metal, working near grinding wheels, riding in open mantrips, or working in any other area where eye hazards may be present.
  • Use safety eyewear that provides the maximum protection against the specific hazard.
  • Ensure eyewear fits properly and comfortably.
  • Inspect protective eyewear regularly and replace if a defect or damage is found.
  • Store protective eyewear where it won't become scratched or damaged, and keep it clean.
  • Step away from a potential hazard if protective eyewear is removed for cleaning.
  • Use antifog material on protective eyewear.

Source: Mine Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labour