Workplace eye injuries are generally caused by:
- impact or blunt force, eg. machinery, tension strapping, compressed air
- foreign particle, eg. dust, wood chip, glass
- chemical splash, eg. acid, paint solvent, petrol, ammonia
- radiation, eg. UV light, infra-red, glare
Even minor workplace eye injuries can cause permanent damage, but the risk is vastly reduced when eye protection is worn, hazards are controlled and prevention measures are adhered to.
Here are 6 Sensible Steps to Prevent Workplace Eye Injury1. Ensure all workers are wearing eye protection that complies with Australian Standards
2. Maintain all safety devices on high-risk equipment, eg. guards and shields, and ensure good working order at all times
3. Isolate high-risk equipment with safety barriers
4. Signpost work areas that require eye protection to be worn
5. Dampen down dusty environments with water and manage with exhaust hoods or extractor fans
6. Provide workers with adequate and accessible first aid equipment including eyewash stations
Ordinary eyewear such as prescription lenses and sunglasses cannot adequately protect against injury. In fact, they may make an eye injury worse.
Remember to protect workplace safety eyewear from grease, dust and dirt by regularly cleaning lenses with a pre-moistened towelette or lens cleaning fluid and lint-free wipes.