Eye Safety in the Workplace, in a Glance

Expertise and research on personal protective equipment have made the workplace safer today for many industries and settings. After a formal hazard assessment, a company is required to comply with recommendations in regard to personal protective equipment (PPE) use.

Proper use of safety glasses in Australia is always a critical component of PPE. Being a country that is intent on looking after its workers, it is expected that protection for the eye, as well for the entire body, will always be a priority from the foremen to the engineers to the inspectors.

Your Eyes Are at Risk

About $300 million a year goes to compensation and medical expenses due to eye injuries in the workplace. Most of the injuries occurred due to a lack of proper protection. Eye safety products are designed to protect human eyes from dust, wood and metal particles, sparks, or flying objects. Abrasions and lesions to the eyes are usually brought about by objects smaller than a pinhead striking the eyes at close range, or from a distance.

The Grave Necessity of Wearing Eye Protection

Because of advances in garment technology, workers can now wear a durable garment designed for chemical protection. To protect the hands, gloves made from durable and heat resistant materials are commonplace. What about the eyes? The eyes are quite vulnerable, and the absence of any natural physical barrier to protect it makes protective equipment an absolute necessity. Protection of eye injuries is paramount, especially in settings where the risk for objects striking the eyes is significant.

Personal Protection Equipment

Types of Personal Protective Equipment

Metal or plastic safety spectacles are one type of PPE to protect the eyes from work hazards. Good quality safety spectacles should provide adequate protection from large particles, flying objects, and other impact hazards. In work areas where flying objects are a hazard, safety spectacles should have side shields.

Meanwhile, safety goggles are designed to fit the areas of the face surrounding the eyes. They offer better protection since they seal the area from impact hazard and flying objects. This type of equipment is ideal for people who have to wear prescription lenses while performing tasks. Another type of PPE for the eyes is the face shield. Contrary to the first two, the design of a face shield incorporates protection for the entire face. Usually, the shield is worn with safety spectacles and goggles providing immediate protection to the eyes. The window on a face shield should allow for a clear line of vision while still being protective. The level of thickness varies depending on the need and the specific task to be performed.

Selection of PPE for the Eyes

The eyes may be punctured, cut, or scratched by a foreign object. At certain work settings, the risk for injuries, as well as an intrusion from particles and flying objects are higher than in others. Workers deserve the right kind of protection. Occupations safety experts are on hand to select the most suited protection so that the eyes are secured against impact hazards. The protective covering for the eyes must not be restrictive and should be comfortable and durable at the same time. All PPE used in your workplace should be compliant to current standards for protective eye and face wear.

For every work setting, there is a minimum safety standard for full compliance. Is your workplace a safe and comfortable area to accomplish tasks, or at you at considerable risk for suffering eye injury due to innate hazards in the setting?