Eye Protection

Your eyes are important in almost all your activities, and because eyes come only one pair to a customer, they deserve all the care and protection you can give them.  What actions can you take to protect the eyes that are so important to your happiness and well-being?

The most important thing you can do is to wear the eye protection we require when there is a danger of flying particles, dust, or harmful liquids getting into your eyes.  Those of you who wear eyeglasses may think they offer enough protection against any eye hazards you may encounter.  Think again!  On impact, regular lenses tend to shatter more easily.  Safety lenses may shatter, but they require a much greater impact. 

Various types of eye protective devices have been designed, including safety glasses, goggles, and full-face shields.  Their uses differ according to the type of work.  That's why OSHA requires that the specific hazards of a workplace be analyzed to determine just which types of protective equipment are appropriate.

That's how the type of eye protection we require was selected.  But that's only the first step.  The next step is the one you take-wearing it.  You never know when an accident will occur, and sight was never saved while safety glasses were worn on the forehead or carried in the pocket.

Contact lenses should not be worn any place there is a chance of foreign matter, especially harmful liquids, entering the eyes.  Liquids can get trapped under a contact lens.  Frequently, before a lens is removed and the eye is flushed with water, delicate eye tissue has already been damaged.  You may think you don't look good wearing goggles or safety glasses, or that you look your best only with contact lenses.  You shouldn't allow these thoughts to interfere with eye safety, because you are exposing yourself to the possibility of an accident that could blind you.

Detection and correction of vision problems can also prevent eye injury by preventing accidents, because you need good eyesight to perform your job efficiently and safely.  Periodic eye examinations are a must, because they are often the only way people learn that their vision is defective.  That can happen because defects may develop so gradually that changes go unnoticed. 

So you should be sure to have your eyes examined and your vision tested annually.  If you are more than 40 years old, this examination should include a test for glaucoma, a condition of increased pressure in the eyeball, which is responsible for a large percentage of blindness in adults.  If defects are found, steps can be taken to correct them.  With clear vision, you will be able to spot and correct or avoid hazards in your environment.

Adequate illumination is also necessary if you are to perform your job safely.  We believe that's what we have provided, but by all means report to your supervisor if you think lighting is inadequate or if light bulbs or fluorescent tubes need to be replaced.

Don't risk losing one of your most precious possessions, your eyesight.  Wear the required eye protection when needed and encourage others to do the same.  If an accident happens, you'll be very glad you did.