Safety eyewear! – Eyesight is one of the essential senses when it comes to performing duties. While all employees must be safe in the workplace, it is vital that employees who work in areas where they are more exposed to hazards that may affect their eyes are provided with eye protection. This will be to ensure companies abide with the law. Employers can go as far as emphasising to the employees about their responsibility with regards to the safe-keeping of the equipment.

Employees should be aware that safety goggles and glasses are their protective personal equipment for their own protection against incidents and hazards hence; they should make it a priority that they take good care of them. These protect them from hazards such as chemical or metal splash, dust, projectiles, gas and vapour, radiation which are found in different working environments.

Like windscreens of cars, safety glasses and goggles should be cleaned regularly. This should be done with mild soap and water. A choice of soap that disinfects should be used to eliminate germs. Lenses should be washed with water before wiping to prevent scratching. Scratched goggles and glasses can cause an employee's vision to be blurred and it could cause an incident. It will also be good to point out that scratched glasses work like a diaphragm which can cause temporary blindness in the sun which can result to an accident!

Alternatively, if employees don't have access to clean water, they can blow dust and grit from lenses before wiping. Clean cloths of a soft material should be used to wipe glasses and goggles. Dust could get into employees' eyes if proper cleaning is not done. Dust contains bacteria and germs which in turn could contribute to eye infections and/or eye problems.

Eye protection comes in many forms, shapes and material. If goggles have straps, the straps need to be cleaned and disinfected to kill germs and bacteria. When in use, straps get in contact with the skin and due to high weather conditions, users may sweat. Bacteria may accumulate in these straps hence; the need to thoroughly disinfect. Hygiene should be emphasised to employees always so as to avoid cases of illnesses.

Eye protection needs careful storage as it is delicate equipment. Store eye protection preferably in a clean dust-proof case or in a safe place such as the top shelf of a locker where it won't get scratched or otherwise damaged. If eye protection is stored in a box, it is advisable that no other items are placed on top of the box as it may break them. Employees should make it a culture to ensure this so that equipment lasts long.

Due to prolonged use eye protection could need some special attention. Safety glasses should be replaced if frames are bent as their strength is weakened. Also, goggles also need replacement if headbands are loose, twisted, knotted, or worn out. Replace any kind of eye protection if lenses are scratched, pitted and if they impair vision. Using defect eye protection may expose employees to hazards as PPE will prove to be useless.

Employers should ensure that they choose the best quality there is for goggles and safety glasses to ensure their employees are safely protected. The law demands that some nature of jobs should not be conducted without safety goggles on.

While we all need to see what we doing in the workplace, it is important that whatever the employer provides to protect our eyes is well taken care of. Maintain eye protection well so that it protects your eyes in return.

Posted date: 20th Oct 2014
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