A Look at Eye Safety

manufacturing worker in safety glasses

October is Eye Injury Prevention Month:

Studies show that the two main reasons American workers suffer eye injuries are:

  1. They weren’t wearing any eye protection.
  2. They were wearing the wrong kind of protection.


These findings give you a clue about what to focus on to prevent eye injuries. You also need to identify all the eye hazards in your job, which could include:

  • Impact—from flying chips, particles, sand, and dirt, etc.
  • Burns—from sparks, molten metal, or chemical splashes
  • Irritation—-from chemical vapors or dust
  • Effects of light radiation—from welding and similar operations


Next, you need to select the right eye protection for the job. The wrong kind may be worse than no protection in some cases. So make sure you know which safety eyewear protects against which hazards. For example:

  • Safety glasses with side shields or goggles provide good protection against impact hazards.
  • Ventilated safety goggles prevent chemical vapors or dust from getting at delicate eye tissue.
  • A face shield worn over safety eyewear provides extra protection from flying particles and chemical splashes.
  • Goggles worn with a face shield protect against burn hazards.
  • Welding goggles with special lenses protect eye tissue by filtering out harmful light radiation.


Finally, follow these safe work practices when eye hazards may be present:

  • Obey all warning signs requiring eye protection.
  • Always put on eye protection before entering an area where hazards may be present.
  • Assume eye hazards are present whenever you’re not sure.
  • Make sure eye protection fits properly and comfortably.
  • Inspect protective eyewear for damage before each use, and replace it immediately if there is any defect.
  • Ask your supervisor if you’re not sure which type of eye protection is required.