What you need to know about Workplace Eye Injuries

There are 2 particularly problematic practices which can lead to serious workplace eye injuries, firstly failure to wear eye protection and secondly the use of the incorrect kind of eye protection for the job.

The most common causes of workplace injuries on construction sites are flying and falling particles or sparks and contact with chemicals. Other accidents are caused by objects swinging from a fixed or attached position, like tree limbs, ropes, chains, or tools which were pulled into the eye while the worker was using them.

Carpenters, plumbers and in fact all workers on construction sites may be placed at risk of eye injuries at some stage in the construction process.

It is also important that workers receive the appropriate training on eye protection so that they are aware of which eye protection to choose for which occasion and how to use and maintain it correctly.

Construction workers, by the very nature of their work are exposed to eye risks by impacts, ultraviolet radiation, liquid splash and even infrared radiation. All of the hazards identified which may present a risk to worker’s eyes need to be assessed and either eliminated or controlled. From wood and paint chips to dirt, concrete particles and even nails, a construction worker’s eyes are constantly at risk from impact hazards.

It is not always possible to eliminate the hazard or replace the hazard with something less hazardous, and in this instance these hazards need to be minimised by implementing control measures. The last option should be the implementation of personal protective equipment (PPE). Personal protective equipment for eyes should include safety glasses, safety goggles, face shields and helmets.

Always wear effective eye protection.

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Image source: www.criticalenvironmentsolutions.co.uk

Employers must provide workers with suitable eye protection. To be effective, the eyewear must be of the appropriate type for the hazard encountered and properly fitted. Eye protective devices should allow for air to circulate between the eye and the lens.

Eye protection devices must be properly maintained. Scratched and dirty devices reduce vision, cause glare and may contribute to accidents.

Be alert to the eye hazards present at your worksite and remember your White card training as well as training provided by your employer regarding eye protection and PPE.

Wear the PPE that is provided for you according to your employer’s instruction and training, failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.

An important part of staying safe on a construction site, regardless of the hazards you are exposed to is undergoing the appropriate training. Training to qualify you for work on a construction site begins with obtaining White Card Training. This training can be conducted online, which is both cost effective and convenient, and happens to be a pre-requisite for all construction workers. It will equip workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to work in this dangerous and demanding industry.