Protecting Your Eye’s

Our eyesight is taken for granted usually until we encounter a challenge to the prospect of not being able to see.

Many times the transition from seeing well to strained vision is so subtle that we don’t realize the problem until we do not have long enough arms to compensate for the deficiency.

The workplace is the main focus of attention for eye safety, most probably due to the most potential for injury is while work is being done with the most eye hazards present. The establishment of OSHA regulations governing the workplace eye safety is evidence of the need for education of the workplace to try preventing injuries. But we should not rely solely on regulations and workplace rules and policies to keep us safe, we need to be always thinking about “what could happen” no matter where we are and what we can do to protect ourselves. For example; if your job requires you to work on or around potentially exposed, energized, electrical equipment, (electricians, lineman, communications cable technicians, welders, tree trimmers, etc.)  make the choice of wearing safety glasses  with non-conductive frames, even if it isn’t a requirement or even if the requirement isn’t enforced. They aren’t the most fashionable, but consider the onetime life changing event that could leave you or your survivors wishing that you would have valued safety over looking culturally acceptable.

The right eye protection for the right application is very important to consider as well: dark tinted safety sunglasses worn when driving a powered industrial truck (forklift) from the outside on a bright sunny day into the inside of a building through the overhead door, virtually renders one “blind”, creating a hazard equivalent to driving a forklift through the workplace with your eyes closed, until your eyes adjust.

These examples are only a couple of situations warranting needed change that without which could result in you or your coworkers’ not going home the same way that they came to work. So when you recognize a possible hazard don’t ignore it, even though most times it is the easier path, make the difference and bring it to the attention of your Safety Representatives and be willing to help with a positive possible solution.

Consideration should be taken regardless of where you are and what you are doing whether it’s cutting your lawn, wood, firewood or shrubbery, or blowing leaves and grass; whether you’re welding or around someone while they’re welding always try to be aware of what is taking place around you and assess the possible hazards.

OSHA has a very useful etool that can be a good reference to determine the right eye protection for the task at hand. Below is a link to the etool: