Safety Tips

Eye Protection

The Right Protection

Most eye injuries are preventable. Basic safety rules and common sense will tell you to wear proper eye protection on the job. Don't take your eyesight for granted. The human eye is very sensitive and can be easily damaged. You already wear sunglasses in a bright sun or while driving - take the next logical steps and choose the right protection for the job you're doing.

The Wrong Hazards

Take care to avoid hazards that threaten your eyes. Follow safety precautions. Eye injuries are very common, especially when people fail to use the eye protection available. Watch out for:

Small particles, sand, rock, and objects that can hit your eyes
Hot or molten bits of metal that can burn your eyes
Chemicals that can burn delicate eye tissue
Bright lights from welding arca can burn the optic nerve in your eyes

Right for Your Eyes

There are many types of eye protection. Choose the one that's right for your work. Good quality safety glasses, goggles, face shields, hoods, and other equipment are available. Always refer to OHS legislation as a minimum standard and guide for when eye protection should be worn.

The Right Glasses

Lenses - must meet CSA standards. These lenses are stronger than regular lenses and are impact resistant
Lens Marking - the manufacturer's logo is marked on all approved safety lenses
Frames - safety frames are stronger than regular frames and are often heat resistant. They prevent lenses from being pushed into your eyes
Frame Imprint - All CSA-certified safety frames have the imprint of the standard number stamped on them and may have the CSA logo as well

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses do NOT provide eye protection. They do NOT replace safety glasses, goggles, or other protective gear. Take advice and directions from a safety professional or an eye doctor regarding the use of contact lenses in the workplace. Your employer must ensure that if wearing contact lenses poses a hazard to you, they must advise you of the hazard and alternatives to wearing contact lenses.For example, gases or vapours at a worksite can be absorbed by the lenses and harm the eyes. Also many worksites have loose particles - posing a danger to contact wearers.

The Right Fit

For your comfort and safety, choose protection that fits you well. Your work day will be more productive, less hazardous, and hassle-free. Consider:

Whether your eye protection can be worn over vision-correcting eyeglasses in comfort
Is your field of vision good? Does it mist up? Will you need to apply anti-misting compound too frequently?
How long can you wear it in comfort?
Is it subject to pitting from corrosives?
Does it fit your face properly?
Does it give the protection needed for the job being done?

The Right Maintenance

Keep your gear in good shape - it's your eyesight and you deserve it.

Clean your equipment daily, following manufacturer's instructions
Handle it with care to avoid scratching and keep it in a case when not in use
Replace scratched, pitted, broken or bent glasses
Lens-damaged eye protection interferes with vision and can fracture on impact
Store your gear in a clean, dry place

Eye-to-Eye at Home

At home you will want to have full use of your eyes for many more years to come. Watching TV, reading a magazine, or typing on your home computer are just some of the activities where you use your eyes. Take care not to overwork them. Ensure you and your family have adequate lighting whatever the activity.

Take care that you have proper protection when involved in outdoor activities. Alpine skiing and water sports are just two examples where you will need protection from glare.

Obviously when doing construction, maintenance, or repair work, eye protection rules apply at home just as they do at work.

Regular eye examinations for all the family will ensure that your eyeglass prescriptions are always up to date.

Use your knowledge and experience from work to speak with your family members on the subject. They will see eye-to-eye with you on safety if you give them adequate information.

Conclusion

Everyone should have safety goggles or glasses. Use yours and check to see if others around you are also taking care at work. On site, supervisors and workers should work as a team to minimize hazards and promote the use of proper eye protection.

For more information, refer to current applicable Occupational Health and Safety Legislation.