When it comes to protecting your eyes, you can never be too careful. Eye injuries are obviously very painful, and can result in permanent blindness. The outer layer of the human eye has a soft membrane protecting it. This delicate layer can be damaged not only by objects that could impact your eye, but chemicals, hot air or any air at high pressure, fire, light, or dusts and powders. This being the case it is important to protect them in different ways to ensure you are safe from a potential hazard. Once you recognize what the threat or threats may be you can go about identifying what type of protection you may need. Sometimes you may need to cover your entire face depending on the situation you are in. All employers should be well aware of these hazards and have the proper safety equipment readily available for use.
Identify the Threats
In order to appropriately select the safety equipment you would use to protect your eyes, you first need to identify what types of threats will be present. This is an important step because not just any set of goggles will always protect you from multiple hazards that can be present. If you are at risk to exposure of intense light and toxic fumes you will need eye protection which can block light through polarization or shading as well as provide a tight seal to close them off from the harmful gases. Also make sure to pay attention to the products durability and warranty. If the sealing or tinting on a set of goggles is designed to last 5 years than a policy should be put into place to test their capacity and also track their service life for replacement. Safety equipment undergoes daily wear and tear and needs to be up kept to ensure proper function and protection.
When there is a threat of flying objects, your protective eye wear should cover your eyes from all sides. Standard style glasses with just a lens covering the eye will not be sufficient. In this case goggles that have side protection especially but also cover the top and bottom of your eyes as well. In some instance such as welding sparks can also burn your face and a complete face mask should be worn.
Simply working in an outdoor environment is enough to require the use of polarized or tinted glasses. Tint can be enough to protect your eyes from indirect sunlight however polarization is a much safer option to consider. When working in a laboratory environment it will actually be necessary to have polarized eye protection, the focused and intense light emitting form a laser can easily damage your eye permanently. One of the easiest ways to damage your eye is from light burning them. This is also one of the easiest things to protect yourself from.
Impacting and radiation are just two of many examples of threat to your eyes. Remember it is important to identify all potential threats in the case that you might need protection from multiple hazards simultaneously. Once you know the problem you can provide a solution, but not before. Your employer should be responsible for identifying these and provide the proper safety equipment and regular training to prevent an injury from occurring.
Amit Gangrade is from Orlando, Florida. He is a recent alumn from the University of Florida, where he studied anthropology and Spanish, and will be attending law school at Emory University in the fall of 2014. Amit also works as a content writer for www.eCompliance.com.