Geteyesmart.org says more than 300 000 American employees go to hospital every year because of eye injuries. Most of them work in manufacturing, construction and mining.
If this is the number in America, where safety laws are incredibly strict, you can only imagine what our numbers are like.
But there's good news.
You can actually prevent 90% of these eye injuries. All you have to do is give your employee this one piece of PPE...
Give your employees this piece of PPE to protect them against eye injuries
Give your employees safety goggles or glasses to stop airborne particles from going into your employees' eyes.
It protects them from serious eye injuries because it's these particles that can cause eye infections and even blindness.
Strong plastic goggles or glasses also protect your employees' eyes if something hits them in the face. They disperse the impact so the object doesn't hurt your employee's eye.
But just like any kind of PPE, you need to give your employees the right kind of eye safety that fits the risks in your company. Here's what to do to choose it.
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Your 1 527 health and safety duties as an employer
When was the last time you checked what disinfecting agents and cleaning materials your company uses?
Do you comply with the Hazardous Chemical Regulations?
There are over 1 500 items you must evaluate in your workplace according to the OHS Act and hundreds more from SABS 0400: National Building regulations.
Do this to make sure your employees' eye protection fits the risk in their job
Do a risk assessment
to determine exactly what the risks in your workplace are. This way you can see what protection your employees need. (Check out the Risk Assessment Toolkit
for everything you need to know about them).
For example, he-alert.org says, if your employees work with welding or hot melted metals, ordinary plastic goggle won't be enough to protect your employee's eye. They'll need welding masks with reflective glass over the eyes to deflect the heat and the UV rays.
If they work with chemicals that give off fumes, they need safety goggles. They stop the fumes from chemicals making contact with their eyes. This is important because the chemicals can make them go blind if they work with them every day.
Lastly, if they do a lot of cutting, like wood or metal cutting, they need safety glasses. They stop cutting particles from going into their eyes. These glasses must have side protection to enclose the eye from all sides so no particles can get in.
But for these pieces of PPE to work effectively, your employees need to use them correctly. To make sure they do, tell to follow these five guidelines.
Five guidelines your employees must follow to use their eye protection correctly
1. Always make sure the glasses, mask or goggles sit flat on your face;
2. Adjust the straps or supports before you start work so they're comfortable;
3. Keep the safety gear on the entire time you're working;
4. If you need to take your protective gear off for any reason, step away from your work area first; and
5. Don't leave your glasses, goggles or masks lying around after using them. This is the best way to make sure they don't scratch or break.
Giving your employees the right eye PPE will keep their eyes safe and protect them from a range of eye injuries. Just make sure it's the right type of PPE and they use it correctly.