The most common hazards to the eyes and face are:
- dust and dirt blown around by the wind;
- tree branches;
- flying particles from drilling, cutting, digging and other similar operations;
- ultraviolet radiation from welding and electrical work;
- fibres from insulating materials, such as fibreglass; and
- irritants and corrosives.
The main defence against eye injuries is to eliminate hazards at the source and follow good housekeeping practices. Once you have taken these basic safety measures, it is important to protect your eyes by wearing protective eyewear suited to the job, process or procedure. Statistics indicate that most eye injuries can be prevented by using adequate shields and glasses.
How can we control eye hazards at the source?
- Use protective screens and wire mesh grids to protect yourself from flying particles.
- Install safety glass guards on machines to prevent injuries caused by flying chips or splashing liquids.
- Place moveable shields around grinders, lathes and other similar machines to protect other workers.
- Enclose sources of fine dusts, mists or vapours.
- Control dust and fumes using general or local ventilation systems.
- Isolate hazardous operations in separate areas.
Source: Canada’s Human Resources and Skills Development: Protect Your Eyes. The article can be found at www.hrsdc.gc.ca.