October is Eye Injury Prevention Month
This annual campaign is intended to educate organizations and individuals on the importance of eye safety. There are many steps employees like you can take to avoid eye injuries in the workplace. Here’s an outline of common causes of eye injuries and key prevention measures.
Top Causes of Eye Injuries
While every workplace is different, eye injuries typically stem from the following hazards:
- Flying objects
- Dust, debris, or other particles
- Chemical splashes
- Harmful radiation
Eye Injury Prevention Tips
Consider these tips to prevent eye injuries at work:
- Select safety glasses or goggles that are appropriate for the job and your facial features. Glasses should rest firmly on the top of your nose and close to, not against, your face.
- Utilize glasses or goggles that are properly ventilated for the work you are performing. Unless you are working near splash hazards, use goggles with plenty of side ventilation to prevent fogging.
- Avoid fogging concerns. If your glasses or goggles fog easily, try another model with more ventilation or coat them with an anti-fog liquid.
- Keep safety goggles and glasses clean. Scratches and dirt can reduce vision, cause glare and may contribute to accidents.
- Wear goggles designed to fit over your glasses or use safety glasses made with your prescription (if applicable).
If you have any further questions about eye injury prevention on the job, contact your supervisor.
Ladder Safety Best Practices
Falls from elevation are frequently cited as one of the top causes of workplace accidents. Such falls often result from poor ladder safety protocols. Therefore, it’s crucial for employees like you to prioritize adequate ladder setup and usage techniques on the job. Review these best practices.
Setting up Safely
Make sure you select the correct ladder for the job—check the length and duty rating. Generally speaking, a proper ladder will extend a minimum of 3 feet over the roofline or working surface. Inspect your ladder before each task for any of the following loose or damaged parts:
- Safety feet
Clear the area where you will be working. Never place a ladder in front of a door that isn’t locked, blocked or guarded. Because metal ladders conduct electricity, use a wooden or fiberglass ladder near powerlines or electrical equipment.
Check that all locks on extension ladders are properly engaged before placing your ladder on a steady surface. The ground underneath the ladder should be level and firm. Large, flat wooden boards braced underneath a ladder can help level it on an uneven surface or soft ground.
Proper Usage Precautions
Exercise caution when using a ladder with these safety measures:
- Make sure the weight that your ladder is supporting (i.e., you plus your materials) does not exceed its maximum load rating.
- Keep your body centered between the rails of the ladder at all times. Do not lean too far to the side while working. Never overreach. Instead, descend from the ladder while maintaining three points of contact and move it to a better position.
- Face the ladder when climbing up or down.
- Don’t leave a raised ladder unattended.
- Wear nonslip footwear at all times when on a ladder.
Consult your supervisor for more ladder safety guidance.