Preventing Vision Injuries in the Workplace

Preventing Vision Injuries in the Workplace

Sight is one of your most precious senses, especially when it comes to your ability to earn a living. Yet, eye injuries occur all too often in the workplace. A worker might be using a high speed tool that scatters tiny flying particles, and in the blink of an eye, the particles are in the workers’ eye. If the worker notices what happens, these particles can be removed by an ophthalmologist or emergency room doctor. Although the result can still be scarring or cause eye damage, there’s an even greater risk of permanent eye damage if the worker doesn’t notice the lodged particle. It might sound obvious, but the first step to protecting your eyes is to make sure that you have routine yearly eye exams. An uncorrected or under corrected vision problem can cause you to have an accident that affects you and/or others. Many workers might feel self-conscious in glasses, but is vanity really worth sacrificing your eyesight?

If you are a candidate, your ophthalmologist might be able to prescribe contact lenses. Either way, the corrective device should be worn as the doctor prescribes it.

In any job location where there might be a hazard to the eye, the worker should utilize personal protective eyewear that is designed for the specific task or hazard involved. This isn’t an optional way to protect your eyes; OSHA actually requires everyone on a work site to wear front and side protecting safety glasses when there is a hazard from any flying objects. The reason that OSHA requires everyone on site to wear safety glasses is because other workers might be working with a hazard, even if you aren’t.

Protective Eyewear

Your eyewear should fit properly and comfortably to best protect your eyes. They should be snug to maintain a proper position, but not so snug that they interfere with your natural movements. Many protective eyewear devices have adjustable features that can be fitted directly to the unique elements of your face.

When fitted properly, dust and chemical splash protecting eyewear will form a protecting seal. Leaving the eyewear loosely hanging on the face will not provide adequate protection.

Face shields and welding helmets must also be fitted properly, as they will do little good if they fall off while working.

Workers that must wear corrective glasses should ask for their own prescription safety eyewear. It is possible to wear certain types of personal protective eyewear over your corrective glasses, but it is often bulky, heavy and uncomfortable.

In the Event of an Eye Accident

If an eye injury does occur, the response time can often prevent serious and permanent injury. In order to respond quickly, workers should do the following before an incident occurs:

  • Know safety protocols and first-aid response.
  • Know the location of eyewash stations, operation, and how to quickly get to one.
  • Report any problems with the eyewash station, personal protective equipment, or unaccounted hazards to the site supervisor.
  • Accidents are inevitably going to occur. However, by supporting and complying with all elements of the eye protection program, you can greatly reduce the risk of injury and lessen the potential for permanent eye damage.

Driving Safety Tips for All Weather Conditions

Driving Safety Tips for All Weather Conditions

Regardless of the current weather forecast, driving conditions can change in a flash. By following some very basic guidelines, you can reduce the risk of an accident significantly, and ensure that you and your cargo get to your destination safely.

Driving in Bright Sun

  • Depending on the season, and the sun’s position in the sky, certain times of the day can present problems that impact your visibility while driving. Be sure to wear sunglasses and use your visor to attempt to combat the glare of the sun in your line of sight.
  • Sometimes, the reflection of the sun off of another vehicle creates a visual disturbance while you’re driving. When this happens, it is a good idea to slow down to change the angle at which you see the other vehicle. Or consider changing lanes to reduce the glare. Sunglasses and a visor will also help.

Driving in Fog

  • The first rule to observe in foggy conditions is never use your high beam headlights. If you did turn on your high beams, it would be counterproductive, because the light would reflect back at you, making it more difficult to see.
  • Always use your low beams in fog. This way, other drivers can see you coming and you can see a bit more of the road.
  • Reduce your speed. If you can see six or more car lengths in front of you then you can safely drive up to 30 miles per hour. If you can see fewer than six car lengths ahead, do not exceed 15 miles per hour.
  • Use your windshield wiper to remove collecting condensation from your windshield. Even if you don’t realize it is collecting it could be reducing your visibility.

Driving During the Rain

  • Slow Down! Rain impacts visibility and increases the chance of skidding, so a slower speed is necessary. Slowing down also reduces the chances that you will hydroplane—which is when your vehicle moves too quickly to clear water from the road and you end up driving on water instead of pavement.
  •  Be especially careful at the beginning of a rainfall. Because oil and water on the road don’t mix, the roads will be especially slippery when the rain first begins.
  • If you normally follow the three-second rule for keeping a safe distance from the car ahead of you, increase that to a six-second rule during rainy weather.

Driving in Snow

  • Snow that is heavy and slushy can become packed together to create a slippery road surface. When encountering this kind of snow while driving, drive slowly and use extra caution.
  • Be careful when accelerating. Cars often slip or skid when accelerating too quickly in snowy conditions. If you do begin to slip, take your foot off the gas pedal and then start accelerating again more slowly. Avoid braking, as this action may make skidding worse.
  • Use your low beams when driving in snow and avoid the use of high beams. The bright light s would reflect off of the snow and reduce your visibility. Use low beams to see more of the road and make your car more visible to other drivers.
  • Since snow decreases your visibility and reduces your stopping speed, it is important to maintain a safe distance behind other vehicles.

Driving on Icy Surfaces

Black ice, which often forms on roads and is undetectable by sight, can be extremely dangerous. If you notice that the spray from other vehicles on a wet road begins to stop or wane, it may indicate the development of black ice. When that happens, follow the instructions below. Also, remember that bridges and overpasses can be icy even when normal roads are not.

  • Begin braking slowly and well before you need to stop. When a road is covered in ice, it may take up to ten times longer to come to a stop after braking.
  • Make sure you have a good understanding of your vehicle’s brake system and the best way to use it. For example, anti-lock brakes should never be pumped.

Before you take to the road, think about the conditions you may encounter, and take precautions. A little extra care could prevent an accident, and even save a life