According to the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) approximately 2,000 eye injuries occur every day at work in the United States. The construction industry has one of the highest rates. OSHA requires eye and face protective equipment where there is a reasonable probability of preventing injury when such equipment is used. Employers must provide a type of protector suitable for work to be performed, and employees must use the protectors.
Employees must make the necessary effort to keep their protective eyewear in good condition. This includes cleaning and protecting your eyewear when not in use. If your protective eyewear is inadequate to wear, turn it into your foreman for a new pair.
Employees will wear ANSI Z87.1 eye protection, at a minimum, at all times. Employees that require corrective spectacles will be required to wear approved side shields or goggles.
Foam lined safety glasses or goggles are types of eye protections that provides protection against dust and particles. These are about the size and weight as normal safety glasses. These fit tight to the face and have a foam gasket that presses against the employee’s face for seal. This type of eye protection provides greater protection against dust and particles if worn correctly.
Foam lined safety glasses or goggles will be required whenever tearing off material, working in dust environments, working below other employee or with the following types of insulation and/or insulation that has the potential to enter the eye:
- Cellular glass (foamglas)
- Calcium silicate
- Polyisocyanurate (urethane)
A face shield and safety glasses are required when cutting or grinding with a Metabo or when shooting pins.
A welding hood with the proper filter lens is required when welding.
Report to your supervisor or the safety department immediately if you think something has entered your eye. Usually the quicker the debris is removed from the eye, the better the outcome for the employee. In the instance that debris does get into your eye the first thing to remember is not to rub your eye. Rubbing your eye may cause further injury to your eye. Try to let tears wash the debris out. If tears do not get the debris out, try using eyewash. If the debris is still in your eye, lift the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid. If these techniques do not work keep your eye closed and report to your supervisor for further instruction.