• Posted by: Nick

Eye Protection in The Industrial Environment | Workplace Safety

A large percentage of all eye injuries in Australia happens in the workplace. Jobs that are high risk for eye injuries have been identified by Better Health Victoria as those that involve chemicals, compressed air, and equipment that grinds, chips, sprays or cuts, for example.

It’s essential that employers offer their workers eye protection. They also need to have measures in place to reduce the risk of eye injuries. Not only does this keep employees safe, but ensures compliance with OHS regulations. 

Work-related eye injuries do not typically cause fatalities and so don’t make it to the news. This doesn’t mean they aren’t common and have the potential to be catastrophic though. Some eye injuries can be difficult to treat and, in severe cases, can lead to partial or total blindness.

In this article, we discuss the causes of workplace eye injuries, how to avoid them and how Ecospill can help. 

CAUSES OF WORKPLACE EYE INJURIES

There are several causes of eye injuries in the workplace, but some of the most common causes are: 

IMPACT

In an industrial environment, flying or falling objects or particles may be unavoidable. These can include things as small as sand and dust or larger things like stone or wood chips.

CHEMICALS

When working with chemicals, there is the risk of exposure to chemical splashes, mists, sprays, vapours and fumes. 

HEAT & RADIATION 

Some jobs like welding, soldering and brazing, for example, involve intense heat, infrared, ultraviolet and reflected light radiation.

PREVENTING EYE INJURIES IN THE WORKPLACE

When the correct personal protective equipment and other safety tools are on-site and your staff know how and when to use them, many eye injuries are preventable. It’s important to consider that it’s not only the operator/handler at risk. Everyone in proximity is at risk and should take appropriate steps to protect their eyes. 

Below are some of the main elements of effective eye protection in the workplace: 

COMPLIANCE

In line with Australian Standards, employers must provide their workers with suitable eye protection. This safety wear and equipment must be specific to the associated hazards, available and fit well.

STAFF TRAINING

It’s not enough to provide the personal protective equipment. Workers need to receive ongoing training on how and when to use the equipment. They also need to be educated on how to minimise the risk of injury in the first place. 

EYE PROTECTION MAINTENANCE

Any pieces of protective equipment, i.e. safety goggles, face shields, eyewash units and spill kits that contain PPE need ongoing maintenance. This includes checking that everything is in stock, place, and good working order. 

ECOSPILL EYE PROTECTION

At Ecospill, we supply a wide range of safety equipment to National industry. We have built a reputation as experts in our field. Part of our large inventory includes eye protection, sold on its own, or as contents of various spill kits. 

SAFETY GLASSES

Our safety glasses are suitable for many situations. Their design allows for an unobstructed view and to fit over prescription glasses. They are manufactured out of polycarbonate. This means they’re lightweight and offer comfortable wear. They also have a high level of built-in UV protection.

SAFETY GOGGLES

Our safety goggles provide superior eye protection that is comfortable to wear for long periods. They weigh only 80gms and have ample interior space to fit most prescription glasses. Equipped with a unique click system, their lenses can be replaced fast and easily. They allow for full vision and have in-built anti-fog capabilities.

FREESTANDING EYEWASH UNITS

For ultimate workplace eye protection, a freestanding eyewash unit is paramount. At Ecospill, we stock these Enware eyewash units in both hand and foot-operated versions. They flush hazardous contaminants and irritants from the eyes and are made from stainless steel for superior durability and reliability. Their unique self-draining design reduces the risk of bacteria, especially in tepid water applications.

ECOSPILL EMERGENCY EYEWASH TESTING SERVICES

Often, workplace emergency showers and eyewashes are not compliant with Australian Standards. Our service technicians see eyewash units neglected for long periods, during which they become unreliable and unsafe. Some units may not deploy at all, others may spurt out brown flushing fluid that is far from eye protection. 

The difference between a superficial or significant eye injury can be seconds. So when it comes to safety equipment, every second counts. The eyewash units not deploying at your workplace is not a risk worth taking. To protect your people and your business, we offer emergency shower and eyewash testing services

Contact our friendly team to see how Ecospill can help you keep your workers’ eyes safe.