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Reason for the Talk  

Thousands of workers annually lose their eyesight or suffer other injuries because they choose not to utilize their eye and face protection.  

Example 

Protecting the eyes and face from hazards in the workplace is extremely important considering all of the organs and soft tissue located on the face. For example, a projectile to the eye can damage not only the eye, but potentially the ligaments and muscles that move it, and in some cases the brain.  Lacerations to the face can damage muscle tissue and leave life-long scars.  

Hazards can come from all directions including:

  • Splashes of harmful liquid chemicals 
  • Flying debris such as chips and dust from grinding, or just windy conditions 
  • Straps, cords or banding that break or snap under tension 
  • Extreme heat or light radiation from exposure to flames, welding or torches.  

OSHA  Standard Number 1926.102 

The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation. 

The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses eye protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects. Detachable side protectors (e.g. clip-on or slide-on side shields) meeting the pertinent requirements of this section are acceptable. 

The employer shall ensure that each affected employee who wears prescription lenses while engaged in operations that involve eye hazards wears eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or wears eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses without disturbing the proper position of the prescription lenses or the protective lenses.  

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/eyefaceprotection

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/eyeandface/index.html 

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/eyeandface/ppe/impact.html 

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/eyeandface/faqs.html  

Prevention Steps 

Eye and Face protection should be worn in the following circumstances: 

  • Any type of metal-work involving grinding or cutting 
  • Woodworking projects that use saws, routers, planers, sanders, lathes or chippers 
  • Power or pressure spray jobs 
  • Air-gun or air-tool operations. 
  • Any situation where harmful substances are present 

Eye and Face protection should meet the following criteria: 

  • Protect against the hazard for which it was designed 
  • Fit snug and comfortably 
  • Be durable enough to function throughout operations 
  • Be cleaned and disinfected before and after each use 
  • Marked with manufacturer’s identification and ratings for limits and precautions 

Use the appropriate eye and face protection for the hazards of each particular project. Make sure you have the appropriate kind by learning the different types.  

  • Spectacles – frontal only or with side shields. Provide protection against airborne particles and flying projectiles 
  • Clear goggles – flexible, snug fitting; provide protection against airborne particles and flying projectiles 
  • Welding Goggles – eye cup or cover specs with filter; flexible or padded with hard, tinted lenses; provide eye protection from some welding, torching and brazing operations 
  • Welding helmet – tinted filter lens with shade number; provide eye and face protection from flying sparks, flash burns, and the hazards of welding, torching and brazing operations 
  • Full-face shield –clear plastic or mesh window; provide face protection from grinding, flying debris and radiant heat 
  • Prescription Safety Glasses – NOTE! Standard prescription glasses are not made to protect from eye hazards. Workers must wear either specially made prescription safety glasses or safety glasses that fit over the top of their prescription glasses. 

Extra precautions  

  • Emergency eyewash stations should be placed wherever the work presents a potential for eye injuries. 
  • Workers should be instructed how to use the eyewash station and should be encouraged to do so any time they have an eye irritation, even if it appears to be minor. 

Discussion Q.A.  

What are some possible eye and face injury hazards in your work area?Why wouldn’t a person wear required PPE, especially eye and face protection? 

When is eye and face protection required? 

How/where do you get the eye and face protection required?  

Where is the eyewash station nearest to your work area?  

Main point of the session 

Wear eye and face protection to prevent damage to eyes that may even lead to blindness and many other potential face injuries.  

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