Preventing Eye Injuries

April 2017 Safety Topic

Eye injuries are a very common occurrence in the workplace. CUMC employees perform daily tasks that may leave them vulnerable to eye injury. An eye injury can be caused by any of the following:

  • Striking or Scraping: The majority of eye injuries result from small particles or objects such as dust, metal slivers, and wood chips, striking or scraping the eye. Large objects may also strike the eye or face, or a worker may run into an object, causing trauma to the eyeball or eye socket.
  • Penetration: Objects like nails, staples, or slivers of wood or metal can go through the eyeball and result in a permanent loss of vision.
  • Chemical and Thermal Burns: Chemicals or cleaning products are common causes of chemical burns to one or both eyes. Thermal burns to the eye can also occur, typically among employees perform “hot work” (e.g. welding, grinding, torching).

OSHA lists several recommendations in regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when it comes to eye safety:

  • Safety Glasses: Workers must use safety glasses with side shields when there is a hazard from flying objects.
  • Safety Goggles: Safety goggles fit the face immediately surrounding the eyes and form a protective seal around the eyes to prevent splash injury, such as when working with chemicals.
  • Eyewash Stations/Showers: These stations and showers allow workers to flush away hazardous substances that can cause injury.

Another way to protect your eyes at work is to eliminate hazards before starting work activity by using machine guards, work screens, or other engineering controls.

For more information or questions about preventing eye injuries, please speak with your supervisor or contact a member of the Campus Life Safety and Regulatory Compliance team.