Metric Field Safety Insight

Eye Injuries & Prevention

As we dive into the warm weather and outdoor field activities safety should be at the forefront of our daily thought process. No matter what job near or far we are involved with, our eyes could be argued as our most precious resource. They give us the ability to see the world around us. If we do not protect our eyes from injuries while at work we could easily lose that ability. There are an estimated 2,000 eye injuries every single day on the job according to the CDC.

It is important to eliminate or engineer out the hazards that could pose hazards to our eyes at work. Many hazards to our eyes on a worksite cannot be fully eliminated so proper eye protection is the only feasible way to protect ourselves. Some common hazards that cause eye injuries on the job are:

    • Flying dust
    • Flying debris
    • Chemicals
    • Blunt trauma to the eye
    • Burns due to UV exposure

Fortunately for us, there are plenty of ways to eliminate any potential hazards associated with our eyes, which include,

    • Identify all of the potential eye hazards in your work area and for your specific work tasks. Eliminate or lessen the chance of getting something into your eye by avoiding being in the line of fire. One quick example is standing upwind of debris or dust blowing around the work area.

    • Always wear approved safety glasses, face shield, or goggles when needed. The type of PPE needed will depend on the work task. Three out of every five victims of eye injuries on the job were not wearing any eye protection!

    • If you get something in your eye do not rub or scratch it. Rubbing the eye can cause scratching of the cornea resulting in injury. Find an eye wash station or saline bottle to rinse out the object. If the field trucks do not have them, see your supervisor about getting them stocked.

    • If you get a chemical in your eyes, remove your contacts if there is any in and begin to rinse your eyes out.

Stay Safe!

Author: Kristopher Jenkins, MS, GSP, REP, CSHM
Author: Kristopher Jenkins, MS, GSP, REP, CSHMEnvironmental Health & Safety Specialist