If your employees work in an area that has a lot of airborne dust and debris, it can seriously injure their eyes. Similarly, if your employees work on machinery that causes sparks, these could burn your employees' eyes.
Even working with chemicals can have a serious impact on your employees' eyes because of the harsh fumes.
It's your duty as an employer to protect your employees from these dangers and ensure they don't go blind. That's why you must give them personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect their eyes.
But what kind of PPE must you give them?
There are three types and today I'm going to show you how to choose the right one for your employees...
These are the three main types of PPE eye protection
1. Safety goggles
These fit around your employees' eyes and use a rubber seal to close any gaps. This stops anything in the air from coming into contact with your employees' eyes.
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2. Safety glasses
These sit on your employees' face just like normal glasses. These must wrap around the sides of your employees' eyes and enclose them from the top and bottom. These don't have any seal around them.
3. Full face masks (welding mask)
Full faces masks with dark eye protection stop sparks and harsh light from damaging your employees' eyes. These must have a reflective tint over the eye piece.
Now that you know what they are, here's how do you choose which is best for your employee?
Here's what you must do to decide which of these three types of PPE you must give your employees
To determine which of these types of PPE your employees need, do a risk assessment
. This will show you exactly what kind of risks your employees face and how you must protect them from it. Check out the Risk Assessment Toolkit
to find out how to do an effective risk assessment.
If the risk assessment shows your employees are at risk of eye damage because they work with chemicals, give them safety goggles. Because of the seal around them, the fumes can't get in and affective your employees' eyes.
If they work in an environment with lots of airborne debris, safety glass will do. These particles normally aren't small enough to get inside the glasses.
If, on the other hand, your employees work with machinery that sparks, they'll need full face masks. Even if your employees use equipment that gives off a harsh light, these masks will protect their eyes from the glare.
Remember, the type of protective equipment you give your employees always depends on the specific risks they face. Once you do the risk assessment, you'll know what they need to protect their eyes.
To find out more about what PPE your employees need, check out the Health and Safety Advisor
. It contains everything you need to know about this important safety requirement.