Accidents can happen on any job-site, at any time, but injuries to the eyes or face can cause pain and long-term damage. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.”
Safety and protection should be a priority on every contracting job-site. The best way to be protected is to have safety gear on-hand and precise safety measures in place that can be followed by all.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) for the eyes and face should be worn at job-sites that involve working with metals, woods, sharp objects, and/or tools. PPE should be worn whenever there is a potential opportunity for a piece of debris to come loose, spray out, and/or hit a person’s face during the course of a work day or project. Safety glasses and goggles protect the eyes and a person’s vision. Glasses and goggles should be durable, comfortable, and extend around the face in order to protect the front and sides of the eyeballs.
Face shields or welding helmets should always be worn if the work being conducted mandates it. Scenarios that would require these types of PPE would include welding or painting operations. Safety glass and goggles can also protect the eyes in the event of an exposure to a chemical spill or spray-out. There is also protective eyewear available to block out glaring lights and bright energy sources.
Emergency Eye Wash Stations
Contractors working with chemicals or paints should have immediate access to emergency eye wash stations. Clear methods of procedure should be in place in the event that a contractor gets sprayed in the face and needs to flush out the eye with fluids in a swift manner. Continuing education on these types of incidents will help workers understand how to operate and locate eye wash stations as is necessary.
If a contractor gets debris in his or her eye while operating machinery, there should be a safety plan in place regarding medical protocol and chain of command. All relevant parties, such as managements and the foreman, should be notified of the injury with details recorded and accident reports filed.
To learn more about personal protective equipment and contractor safety, contact:
American Contractors Organization