Eyes are some of the most complicated, and important, organs in the human body. On many jobsites however, our eyes are put at risk to hazards like bright flashes, chemical splashes, flying sparks, or loose debris. Even a minor accident can result in long-term damage or even blindness. Whether you’re working out on a construction site or working in a medical lab, a number of hazards can be present, and it’s important to take appropriate safety measures. Ensure your employees and their eyes are kept safe with these basics:
The risk of eye damage can be greatly reduced by providing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers). OSHA does have a set of regulations based largely on the ANSI z87.1 standard, a set of standards specifically focused on safety glasses. Whether you need goggles with UV protection or glasses with anti-fog technology, there’s safety eyewear to fit your needs.
If your workplace uses hazardous chemicals, your workplace should also have ANSI-approved eyewash stations. These stations are designed to allow users to easily flush any hazardous or toxic chemicals out of their eyes using sterile saline. Compliant eyewashes can be permanent units attached to the wall, fully-functioning portable kits, or squeeze bottles. Eyewash stations should be placed in all hazardous areas and it will probably be necessary to have multiple stations. It’s critical that one can get to the station quickly in the event of an accident.
Ensure all workers are on the same page when it comes to eye safety by posting visual reminders around your facility; reminding people to wear PPE with appropriate signs is an important part of a PPE program. PPE signs should specify when the equipment must be worn, and which type of equipment should be worn.
In cases of emergencies, people may need to find first aid or eyewash stations immediately. It is crucial to post noticeable signs either near the station or specifically directing people to them there should be highly-visible and clear signs. These signs should contain the recognizable green or red colors commonly associated with first aid.
You’re responsible for keeping your employee and their eyes safe. Between signs, providing eye protection, and eyewash stations, make sure your facility is properly prepared for hazards to the eyes.