Eye protection is a critical part of any job. This is because your eyes are a crucial part of your body and are incredibly sensitive. It isn’t just about people avoiding paint or leaves from irritating their eyes; it is about protecting them against everyday hazards. Eye injuries cost companies millions of dollars each year, and the majority of these injuries could have been prevented. Here are just some of the reasons why having the right safety goggles are a crucial part of your job.
One of the biggest reasons why companies focus on eye protection and safety is because of the large number of workers injured each year. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are an estimated 1,000 eye injuries in the workplace every day. While the majority of these injuries occur in craft work and industrial equipment operation, there are potential hazards present in almost every industry.
Over 40 percent of the eye injuries that occurred happened to mechanics, plumbers, carpenters, sanders, assemblers and other operatives. Of those injured workers, only two in five were wearing proper eye protection. That means out of 1,000 workers, about 600 got more severe injuries than if they had been wearing goggles or could have avoided the injury entirely – a large number that is costing companies millions.
What Causes Eye Injuries in the Workplace?
While each industry is a little different, the majority of eye-related injuries are caused by small particles cutting the eye. These small strikes are caused by dust, wood chips, metal slivers and other small objects. Sparks from working with industrial equipment also strike the eyes, causing a variety of issues. In most cases, the object that hurt the worker was smaller than a pinhead.
Large injuries can still occur, as it isn’t uncommon to see nails or staples in the workplace. Chemical burns can also have a great effect on the eyes, although these types of injuries are much less common. Other industrial workers, such as welders, can also be affected by thermal burns or other workplace hazards that affect the eyes over time.
How Safety Goggles Make a Difference
Goggles are designed to shield the eyes and prevent small and large objects from reaching the eyes and surrounding area. They seal off the area with a hard plastic, which helps to reduce the amount of blunt force that affects the eyes from a flying object. Depending on the materials being used, the goggles can also help protect against chemical burns and sparks.
Eye protection is also designed to help in situations where head-to-toe protection is required. While most people don’t envision industrial workers needing full body PPE, there are several unique situations when it is required. Employees working with chemicals in production, for example, often need to be covered to protect their entire bodies from burns. Why would you ignore the eyes and protect the rest of the body?
Avoiding Long Term Problems with Goggles
While the amount of injuries in the United States is an important number to focus on, the main reason you should be wearing goggles is to help you prevent long-term injuries. Permenant vision damage, for example, can develop over time as an employee is exposed to bright lights or chemicals. These slow-developing problems are not thought about every day and can be difficult to treat.
By selecting the right kind of protective goggles and ensuring they fit properly, you are protecting yourself from a wide variety of injuries. No one should ever have to risk a lifetime of disability just to perform their job correctly.
Simple, Easy to Use PPE
One of the biggest reasons why eye injury statistics are upsetting is that they were preventable. Due to constant innovation in PPE, goggles are becoming more comfortable and easy to wear. While some industries may require more elaborate eye protection, the majority of industrial workers can get full protection simply by securing the goggles to their head with a simple strap.
The issue is that not every business has PPE available or educates their workers about the importance of eyewear. One of the easiest ways to combat this is to develop a formal PPE policy and include it in every employee’s training. That way, every employee knows where to find eye protection, when they should be wearing it, how to get a replacement and what to do if they cannot find their goggles.
If you are in an industrial workplace, then you need to ensure that you are always wearing personal protection equipment, or PPE. Occupation safety eyewear is important to every workplace and should never be overlooked for convenience sake.
Get Safety Goggles for Your Workplace
While OSHA standards require businesses to provide their workers with proper eye protection, not every company has effective eyewear available. Either they do not understand the job hazards, are concerned about affordability or just aren’t sure what is available. Luckily, training and education is available for both employees and employers.
Safety experts are available to help you understand the importance of proper eye protection. They can also explain how to maintain equipment and help you determine if your employees should be wearing goggles.
Safety goggles play a much bigger role in the workplace than most people think. With a large number of eye injuries being easily preventable, why put you or your employees at risk? To learn more about the role of PPE and protective eyewear, please contact us today.