Workers experience eye injuries on the job for two major reasons:
They were not wearing eye protection.
They were wearing the wrong kind of protection for the job.
A recent survey of workers who suffered eye injuries revealed that nearly 3 out of 5 were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident. These workers most often reported that they believed protection was not required for the situation.
OSHA requires workers to use eye and face protection whenever there is a reasonable probability of injury that could be prevented by such equipment. Personal protective eyewear, such as goggles, face shields, safety glasses or full face respirators must be used when an eye hazard exists. The necessary eye protection depends upon the type of hazard, the circumstances of exposure, other protective equipment used and individual vision needs.
Workplace eye protection is needed when the following potential eye hazards are present:
Projectiles (dust, concrete, metal, wood and other particles) … wear safety glasses with side protection
Chemicals (splashes and fumes) … wear goggles
Radiation (especially visible light, ultraviolet radiation, heat or infrared radiation, and lasers) … use special-
purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets designed for the task
Bloodborne pathogens (hepatitis or HIV) from blood and body fluids … wear safety glasses with side shields
Know the requirements for your work environment. Side shields placed on your conventional (dress) glasses do not provide enough protection to meet the OSHA requirement for many work environments.
Some working conditions include multiple eye hazards. The proper eye protection takes all hazards into account
Computer Vision Syndrome, or Digital Eye Strain, describes a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and cell phone use. The average worker spends 7 hours a day on the computer.
To protect your eyes from injury:
Know the eye safety dangers at your work.
Eliminate hazards before starting work by using machine guards, work screens or other engineering controls.
Use proper eye protection.
Keep your safety eyewear in good condition and have it replaced if it becomes damaged.
Selection of protective eyewear appropriate for a given task should be made based on a hazard assessment of each activity.