Are Your Eyes Properly Protected?

Work-related injuries blind thousands each year, costing employers hundreds of millions of dollars. Most, if not all, of these injuries can be prevented by selecting and using the proper eye and face protection. In order to choose the correct protection, however, it’s imperative to know the hazards that workers face.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the main causes of eye injuries are flying objects, contact with chemicals, improper equipment operation, poor choice of eyewear, improper fit, and lack of awareness about risks.

Eye hazards vary, depending on your workplace tasks. Here’s a list of the most common hazards to protect against:

  • Impact from flying objects, such as large chips, fragments, particles, sand, and dirt from chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, wood working, sawing, drilling, chiseling, powered fastening, riveting, and sanding
  • Chemicals in the form of splashes, fumes, vapors, and irritating mists from acid and chemical handling, degreasing, and plating
  • Harmful dust getting in the eyes from wood working, buffing, and general dusty conditions
  • Radiant energy, glare, and intense light from welding, torch cutting, brazing, soldering, and laser work
  • Heat from anything emitting extreme heat, such as furnace operations, pouring, casting, hot dipping, and welding
  • Blood and infectious splashes that could allow bloodborne pathogens to enter the body through the eyes

In order to protect your eyes and the eyes of your co-workers, it’s imperative to provide the highest-quality eye protection, such as the protection polycarbonate lenses provide. When selecting protection, keep in mind that adjustable eyewear that can be fitted and customized to the worker’s face is more likely to be worn on the job.

If you or your co-workers are using goggles, be sure to inspect them on a regular basis. Look for cracks, breaks, and loose frames, and train your workers to look for those defects, as well. If your goggles have any of these problems, discard them and get a new pair.

If new procedures or materials are introduced into the workplace, your eye protection will need to be reassessed to ensure it’s still providing the proper level of protection. If it’s not, choose the proper eye and face protection for the new hazards.

It’s extremely important that workers are trained on how to identify eye hazards, as well as how to select the proper protection for the job. Their sight depends on it! If you have any questions about which eye and face protection is right for your workplace, our Technical Support Reps are here to help. Give them a call at 800-922-8553, or email

Northern Safety Co., Inc.
PO Box 4250. Utica, NY 13504-4250
Phone: 1-800-571-4646
Fax: 1-800-635-1591

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