Protective eyewear is a vital part of personal protective gear (PPE) in the workplace. However, many employees seem to think that protecting their eyes is not all that important. Studies confirm that in almost three out of five workplace injuries, employees were not making proper use of protective eyewear at the time of injury. This means that wearing adequate protective eyewear can prevent several work-related injuries. What’s more, eye injuries cost companies millions per year in lost time, costly medical bills, and employee compensation. This is why employees working in certain industries need to take necessary precautions to prevent the agony of an eye injury.
Personal Protective Gear
Injuries in the workplace can be avoided through significant safety standards that include the proper use of personal protective gear. Safety glasses, face shields, welding helmets, and hard hats are all examples of personal protective gear that are required when working in certain industries. Many industries that make use of PPE gear insist workers wear overalls that offer maximum skin coverage and the heavyweight fabric can also prevent minor skin injuries such as infections, cuts, and scrapes.
Occupations That Risk Eye Injuries
Construction craft workers seem to obtain the highest rate for eye-related injuries, while plumbers, pipefitters, and electricians are also at risk of eye injuries. Different work industries risk different hazardous situations, which means that evaluation of certain aspects will need to be done prior to selecting appropriate protective eyewear, such as safety glasses. When deciding on ideal protective gear, you will need to determine your personal vision requirements, the specific circumstances that could result in eye injury, the safety standards of your workplace, and other protective gear used.
Safety glasses are usually incorporated with full personal protective gear, however, workers need to ensure that safety glasses meet their own personal requirements regarding individual vision requirements and adequate fit that allows comfortable wear. Ideal safety eyewear should also be adjustable in order to provide maximum coverage. Several eye injuries can result from chemicals or objects moving under or around safety glasses that do not fit correctly. In addition to appropriate fit and comfort, suitable safety glasses should also allow maximum peripheral vision.
Using Protective Gear Appropriately
Part of safety in the workplace insists that all workers are provided training to ensure safety precautions are understood. The practice of providing training will help workers anticipate and avoid certain injuries because they are fully aware of injury risks. Eye safety regulations and policies should be made extremely clear by employers and workers should understand important factors such as when to wear safety glasses, what safety measures are in place, where to purchase suitable protective eyewear if not provided by employes, what to do when protective eyewear has gone missing from their workstations. By taking safety regulations and policies seriously, the risks of potential injuries at work will drastically decrease.
Comfort is an important factor when wearing protective gear appropriately. However, some may view style as an equally important factor. When opting for the most suitable protective gear, personal requirements and company regulations should be taken into consideration. Safety gear is only able to protect workers if it is used correctly, which means any factor that would prevent workers from wearing safety gear should be taken into account.
Minor Eye Injuries Can Result In Long Term Problems
Eye injuries are not just serious because they can set employers back by millions each year with hefty medical bills and worker compensations, but also because even a minor eye injury can cause long term problems for workers. With eye injuries often resulting in partial or permanent vision damage that can permanently disable a worker and negatively impact their quality of life.
Regardless of an eye injury being classified as minor, long term suffering can become an unpleasant complication. Recurring corneal erosion can be caused by a minor scratch caused by sawdust, drywall, or cement. This eye condition is extremely painful and it can be easily avoided by wearing suitable safety glasses. It is estimated that a surprising total of 90% of eye injuries could have been avoided with the proper use of personal protective gear. Protecting your eyes is crucial, and wearing protective gear responsibly is recommended for hazardous professions to avoid numerous injuries in the workplace.