This toolbox talk centers on eye injuries and prevention that may arise at construction sites. Our eyes are invaluable assets, enabling us to perceive the world. However, we risk losing our precious ability if we need to safeguard our eyes at work. Shockingly, it is reported that approximately 2,000 job-related eye injuries occur daily, resulting in millions in annual costs for employers.
It is crucial to eliminate potential eye hazards at the worksite. Since some hazards cannot be completely eradicated, proper eye protection becomes paramount to ensure our safety.
Frequent Causes of Job-Related Eye Injuries:
- Flying dust
- Flying debris
- Blunt trauma to the eye
- Burns from UV exposure, like welder’s flash
Eye Safety Best Practices:
- Identify potential eye hazards in your work area and tasks, ensuring proper safeguards are in place to prevent injuries. Address any missing safeguards promptly.
- Avoid being in the line of fire to reduce the risk of getting objects in your eyes, such as standing upwind of debris or dust.
- Always wear appropriate eye protection, such as safety glasses, face shields, or goggles, depending on the task. Three out of five victims of job-related eye injuries were not wearing eye protection.
- use proper eye protection for welding activities and ensure a protective barrier is in place to shield other employees from UV exposure.
- If something gets in your eye, refrain from rubbing or scratching it, as this may lead to corneal injury. Rinse your eye using an eyewash station or saline bottle.
- If you come into contact with chemicals, remove your contact lenses (if applicable) and immediately begin rinsing your eyes.
Construction-related eye injuries leading to vision loss can be severely disruptive, life-altering, and excruciating. Apart from the physical pain endured, these incidents can also cause significant economic hardship. The affected worker may necessitate expensive and extensive medical care, along with facing lost work hours. While Workers’ Compensation does offer some financial support, it often falls short of covering the complete scope of the worker’s losses, leaving no provision for compensation related to pain and suffering.
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