Toolbox Talk: Eye Protection
Guide for Discussion: Think of some excuse you have used (or heard others use) for not wearing eye protection: they are uncomfortable; they are dirty; they get fogged up; you were going to be doing a hazaradous task for just a few seconds and you did not want to stop and put them on . . .
While you may think some or all of these excuses sound like good reasons for not wearing your safety glasses or goggles at work, consider what would happen if an accident occurred and you injured one or both of your eyes. Is it worth risking injury, or even blindness, for any one of those reasons? Absolutely not!
OSHA’s standards for eye protection are intended to help prevent accidents that can lead to serious injuries, up to including blindness, caused by a variety of hazards. These hazards include:
- Flying particles -such as those present when cutting, chipping, drilling, grinding, brushing, and blowing with compressed air
- Molten metal -such as torch cutting, welding or brazing
- Liquid chemicals -such as mixing, cleaning or measuring
- Acids or caustic liquids -such as applying cleaners or filling batteries
- Chemical gases or vapors -such as cleaning, mixing, spraying or heating
- Light radiation -created by welding, cutting, brazing or lasers
Here are some of the major requirements of the OSHA standards for eye and face protection that help protect you and me:
- All eye and face protection devices, such as safety glasses, goggles, and face shields must be marked that they meet or exceed the test requirements of ANSI Z87.1-1989. The marking is typically located somewhere on the frame of the glasses or goggles.
- Safety glasses used to protect workers from flying objects must also have side protectors built into the design, or attachable side shields that meet the above-referenced ANSI standard, to prevent objects and particles from injuring your eyes from the sides. Flimsy “slide-on” side shields are not acceptable substitutes.
- Workers needing corrective lenses must either wear approved safety glasses with prescription lenses and frames that meet or exceed the above-referenced ANSI standard, or wear approved goggles designed to be worn over the regular prescription glasses that meet the ANSI standard.
If you are unsure whether or not your safety glasses or goggles are the proper type, or if they are ever damaged or lost, please report to your supervisor at once so we can take appropriate action where needed. Because, as we discussed earlier, you could be injured, or even your lose your sight, in the blink of an eye!
Any questions or comments about these OSHA requirements for eye protection devices?
NOTE: Always promote a discussion on any of the topics covered in the Tool Box Talk. Should any question arise that your cannot readily answer please contact our OSHA Certified Instructor:
Marcos Caballero: (813) 498-0359 or MCaballero@ConstructCorps.com