Toolbox Talk: Eye Protection

Our eyes allow us to see the world around us—we need our vision to drive, read, watch our families, everything! How would you feel if you could no longer see?

According to the CDC , 2,000 U.S. workers sustain eye injuries that require medical treatment, every day. Approximately one-third of these incidents are treated in emergency rooms, and over 100 cases result in missed work days.

Recognize the Hazards

Airborne solids such as crystalline silica, saw dust, and metal shavings can get in your eyes and cause irritation, soreness, and physical damage. Foreign objects in the eye often lead to scratched corneas which can be painful and affect your vision.

Chemicals also can enter your eyes and result in serious eye damage, including blindness or total loss of the eye. Eye burning can be caused by liquid chemicals splashing into your unprotected eyes, or by ultraviolet radiation exposure affecting your retina and causing temporary or permanent vision loss. Your eyes can also be injured by blunt trauma.

Keys to Keep You Safe

  1. Recognize situations where you should wear safety goggles, instead of safety glasses, and ensure all eye protection is ANSI Z87.1 approved.
  2. Consult the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before working with chemicals. You may need additional PPE such as a face shield, apron, gloves, or respiratory protection to stay safe.
  3. Keep additional safety glasses and goggles with you, including a few pairs with shaded lenses. Regular sunglasses are not approved safety glasses.
  4. Open valves and throw switch to the side. Don’t allow your body to be in the line of fire if something goes wrong.