The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Prevent on the job eye injury

Graham Marshall - Thursday, November 01, 2012

There are about 2.4 million eye injuries to people in the USA each year.  35 per cent result from a foreign body entering the eye.  25 per cent result from impacts.  And 15 per cent result from burn injuries to the eye.

About 10 per cent of eye injuries will result in permanent loss of vision to the affected eye.  That's over 240,000 serious eye injuries each year in the USA alone.

Virtually all of the harm caused by incidents to the eyes can be prevented or reduced if workers are using the Think 6, Look 6 process and the correct eye protection.

So what can you do?

Firstly, always use the Risk Tool Box' Think 6, Look 6 hazard management process to identify and evaluate the hazards you face which could lead to eye damage.

●  Identify the hazards and triggers in the task to be performed;

●  If necessary, develop a JSA with appropriate controls for the hazards and triggers; and

●  Attempt to eliminate the hazard wherever possible.

Secondly, aim to create a safe working environment:

●  Make sure you're trained to do the job;

●  Use only the proper tools and following the correct procedure for tool use;

●  Keep non-essential people well away from the work zone; and

●  Inspect your tools and other associated equipment before each use.

Thirdly, wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE):

●  Wear safety glasses to ANSI Z87.1 standard;

●  Use additional full face shielding for jobs which are more prone to create flying debris or spray of substances;

●  Use welding hoods with properly shaded lenses when undertaking or assisting with hot work; and

●  Inspect and clean your eye-wear PPE before each use.

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