The Basics of Eye Protection (Part 3)

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2. When and where are these hazards present?

Understanding when and where the hazards are present is crucial to an effective eye protection program. We cannot, realistically expect people to wear safety glasses, face shields or goggles all the time. Indeed, wearing safety eyewear when it is not required could present a danger all its own (Dark lenses that are proper protection for outdoor work, for example, are a hazard when worn indoors).
Identifying the “when” and “where” is also crucial in matching the right solution to the problem. For example, where chemical splash is a problem, safety glasses will not be adequate protection. If and when the nature of the hazard changes, the nature of the eye protection needs to change as well.
Identifying areas where there is a lot of flying debris and dust is, of course, the first step; knowing where welding flashes are present is important but many injuries also occur in less obvious places and these areas need to be identified as well.
What overhead issues might potentially cause eye injuries?
Is there debris and dust which, although not present at this time, might “float” in from one of the surrounding areas?
Are any of the following activities happening somewhere in the vicinity which might at some point affect the quality of the environment in the immediate area?
• Grinding
• Machine Operation
• Tooling
• Cutting
• Spraying
• Chipping
• Polishing
• Sand Blasting
• Welding
Are there any chemicals which might cause harmful vapors and fumes?
Is there any radiation, Ultraviolet, Infrared or laser work happening in any of the surrounding areas?

Once as many of the potential hazards as possible have been identified (others will probably show up at later dates, especially as procedural changes are made, machines are moved, machines added, etc…), then we can start to match the solution to avoid eye injuries. This is what we look at tomorrow.

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