What do flying debris, airborne dust, and shattering glass have in common?
They can all cause eye injuries.
It’s no surprise that the construction industry ranks second among occupations with the highest rate of eye injuries, given the number of potential hazards that workers face each day.
According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, three out of every five eye injuries in the workplace happen to individuals who are not wearing eye protection. More than 20,000 eye injuries occur at work each year, and reportedly cost an estimated $300 million in lost productivity, medical bills, and workers’ compensation claims.
The federal Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains safety standards for eye and face protection; in most cases, personal protective eyewear is mandatory at job sites. Safety glasses with side shields are required for environments in which concrete, metal, and wood particles are in the air.
Here are a few tips for picking the right pair of safety glasses and staying safe at work:
–Simply put, wearing safety glasses is your best defense against injury. Be sure your eyewear is OSHA-compliant and carries the approval of the American National Standards Institute. Sealed glasses provide the best protection from airborne debris.
–Workers exposed to daylong sunlight should wear safety glasses that offer protection from the sun’s ultra-violet rays. Look for glasses marked “UV400,” which provide 100-percent protection. Glasses with variable lenses stay clear indoors, and transition to a dark tint outdoors. Lenses with an anti-fog coating will prevent temperature and humidity changes from obscuring your view.
–Take steps to create a safer work environment and make an eye safety checklist. Identify primary hazards at each job site, secure objects that could fall, make sure that safety systems on power tools are functional, and designate specific areas for activities that create dust and debris. Take time at the end of each day to clean up and re-evaluate the workspace for potential issues.
–Make sure you have a first-aid kit on hand that contains an ample amount eye wash, which can be used to flush out any specks of debris. However, a person who has suffered an eye cut or puncture should not flush the eye, and instead seek immediate medical attention.
Having the right licenses for the job are just as important as workplace safety. A Florida contractor licensing company can help individuals and companies navigate the state’s licensing requirements, with approvals as quick as 10 days. For more information on Florida contractor requirements or to get an application started, visit our Florida contractor licensing page or call 239-777-1028.