Eye injuries are among the most common workplace accidents leading to lost time. But severe eye injuries are avoidable in most cases. Employees are responsible for being aware of their surroundings while on the job site, but unfortunately, this alone is not always enough.
There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of incurring an eye injury at work. Some of the measures are preventive and should be taken care of by the employers, while others are a matter of personal responsibility and diligence.
In this article, we will look at the ways to prevent workplace eye injuries and minimize the risk of these serious accidents from occurring in the first place.
Identify Any Workplace Hazards
Most workplaces have at least one or two potential hazards that could cause a serious eye injury. However, in certain industries, employees are far more likely to encounter risk scenarios while on the job, such as in warehousing and construction.
Employers are responsible for carefully inspecting the workplace and identifying any hazardous areas that employees are likely to encounter daily in these industries.
Some hazardous areas include stations around heavy equipment or power machinery and access routes, and regions containing harmful chemicals. Chemicals are one of the biggest causes of workplace eye injuries, along with heat, sharp objects, optical radiation, and flying particles.
By conducting an in-depth safety assessment of the workplace, employers can take the necessary steps to ensure that their employees are aware of the risks and are less likely to incur an eye injury while on the job.
Always wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The number one way to prevent eye injuries in the workplace is to wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses. Most workplace eye injuries can be avoided by making employees aware of the hazards and giving access to protective eyewear. Various forms of protective equipment can help safeguard your eyes while on the job, including anti-fog safety glasses, face shields, helmets, or full-face respirators.
The type of personal protective equipment necessary to safeguard your eyes in the workplace depends on your industry and the risks on the job site. Further in the article, we will look at some of the best personal protective equipment to ensure you don't incur an eye injury while at work.
Organize Training Programs and Plan for Emergencies
As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring that your employees are aware of any workplace hazards, including any risks that could injure their eyes while performing their regular day-to-day duties. One of the best ways to protect yourself as an employer is to ensure that you have training programs in place and clearly defined plans in the event of an emergency.
You can dramatically reduce the risk of your employees incurring a severe eye injury while on the job by informing them of the hazards in the workplace, providing them with safety gear, and instructing them on the correct and proper use of that gear.
However, employees also have a responsibility to do their part in preventing workplace eye injuries throughout their shifts at work. Suppose your employer offers specific training about workplace hazards and how to avoid injuries on the job. In that case, it's your responsibility to attend those training sessions and learn the correct and proper ways to safeguard yourself and your eyes while working for that particular employer.
In most cases, these training modules involve learning about the specific hazards in the workplace that are likely to cause an eye injury, such as chemicals, sharp objects, dust, and other things of that nature. You should also familiarize yourself with performing emergency first aid if you sustain an eye injury while at work. It will significantly reduce the odds of a severe injury and can even save your eyesight in certain situations.
Regularly Inspect and Maintain Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace
Fortunately, employers do provide practical training on how their employees can avoid the most common workplace eye injuries in most situations. To employees' credit, most employees follow those training modules and actively use personal protective gear to safeguard themselves and their eyesight while on the job.
Most workplace eye injuries occur due to faulty equipment. These accidents can be avoided by regularly inspecting the gear to ensure that it is in proper working condition and protects your eyes from harmful chemicals or objects.
Regular safety audits of personal protective equipment can go a long way in preventing eye injuries in the workplace.
As an employee, you are also responsible for ensuring that you are protecting your eyesight when working around known hazards on the job site. Therefore, you should always inspect your protective equipment before using it to make sure that it is not damaged or has not in any other way been compromised to make it ineffective. You should always ensure that safety glasses don't have any cracks and that face shields fit you correctly before working in any area known to pose a risk to your eyesight.
Eye Wash Stations
As an employer, you should make sure that you have eyewash stations set up in any area that contains chemicals that can potentially get in your employees' eyes and cause damage to their vision. These eyewash stations should be marked, and whenever you are onboarding new employees, you should ensure that they know where these eyewash stations are. You should also provide training on using an eyewash station so your employees know what to do in an emergency.
As an employee, you also have a responsibility to know where the eyewash stations are in your workplace. If you aren't sure where to find an eyewash station, speak with a co-worker or your manager and ask where these first aid stations are. Of course, you also need to know how to use an eyewash station because it isn't always obvious.
Most people don't use eyewash stations every day and may have never used one in their lives. So if you aren't sure how to use an eyewash station, ask management for some training. Understanding how to use an eyewash station could potentially save your vision.
The Best Safety Glasses in 2022
Personal protective equipment is the best way to protect your eyes on any job site. Many vendors specialize in personal protective equipment, but we highly recommend checking out Bison Life, as they specialize in safety glasses and are a trusted industry leader when it comes to protecting your eyes specifically. When shopping for safety glasses with Bison Life, you can tailor your search and filter by things such as:
· Frame Color
· Frame Style
· Goggle Type
· IR Protection
· Lens Type
· Lens Color
· And much more
In other words, you can find the perfect pair of safety glasses for your needs on Bison Life. It’s best not to leave anything to chance, and although employers should provide you with protective gear, there is no way to ensure that the equipment will be functional, and it almost certainly won’t be stylish. So, if you want to protect yourself and your eyesight at work, be sure to check out Bison Life today.
Eye injuries in the workplace can be serious and, in some cases, can lead to permanent vision loss, which can even end your career. Both employers and employees have a responsibility to ensure that they identify the hazards at work and take steps to avoid any workplace eye accident. The best way to protect your eyes at work is to know about workplace hazards and always wear personal protective equipment, especially industrial safety glasses, such as those offered by Bison Life.