Eye and Ear Protection
9/15/2015 5:06:20 PM

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 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. In just one year, eye injuries can cost more than $300 million in medical expenses, lost production time and worker compensation. The industrial construction industry is filled with safety hazards which include eye and ear risks. Protective tools could be useful at work and at the home.

The eyes and ears are very sensitive. They need to be protected against impact, chemicals, dust, chaff, and numerous other workplace hazards.

OSHA encourages individuals to always wear eye protection when spray painting, grinding, drilling, welding, sawing, working in a dusty environment, or handling chemicals. It is a good idea to develop the habit of putting on eye protection whenever you are going to be doing work that involved tools, could cause particles to fly in the air or is in a dusty area. If you are working around loud machines, use ear protection to guard against hearing loss.

Several types of eye protection devices are available, here are a few listed from the National Ag Safety Database:

· Safety glasses
Standard eyeglasses and sunglasses provide frontal protection only. If you wear glasses, make sure they have impact resistant lenses. Safety glasses have heavier lenses that can withstand more shock than ordinary lenses.

· Goggles
Plastic goggles protect the eyes against front and side impact. Unvented or chemical splash goggles also offer protection against chemical vapors and liquids.
Always wear goggles when striking hardened metal tools and hardened metal surfaces. This will protect the eyes against flying metal chips.

· Face Shields
Face shields protect the face against splashing, dust, and chaff. However, standard designs offer very little protection against impact.
If impact protection is needed, wear safety glasses or goggles under the face shield. Special impact-resistant shields are also available.

Prescription eye wear and contact lenses are very common and you should be aware of protection that fits with your prescription. Be sure eye and face protection fits comfortably over glasses. Some safety goggles and glasses may be able to incorporate prescription lenses for easy use. If you are allowed to wear contact lenses on the job site, be careful as dust and chemicals could be a challenge and get caught under the lens. Carry a back-up pair of contacts in case one gets lost.

Special skilled jobs such as welding and special equipment management may require a special type of eye and ear protection. Be sure to wear personal protective equipment suitable for your job.

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