The gift of sight is irreplaceable. Thousands of eye injuries occur in the workplace each year, which makes wearing proper eye protection so important. All it takes is a tiny sliver of metal, particle of dust or splash of chemical to cause significant and permanent eye damage. March, which is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, is a great time to review eye and face protection regulations with your employees.

OSHA’s eye and face protection standard (1910.133) states, “the employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.”

Whether on the job or working on projects around the house, remember to wear proper safety glasses, goggles or face shields. Follow employer guidelines or the safety instructions provided with the equipment, materials or tools you are using.

In addition:

  • Make sure you have properly fitted protection. For example, if your safety glasses slip, or are crooked or too tight, adjust them.
  • Keep your protective equipment clean to improve visibility. Wash it regularly with mild soap and water or eyeglass cleaner. Polish with a soft cloth or tissue.
  • Use anti-dust and anti-fog sprays to help prevent buildup on your safety glasses.
  • Store your protective equipment carefully to avoid damage when not in use. Any damage to lenses or shields can lessen the impact-resistance and result in inadequate protection.

The National Safety Council offers additional information on proper eye and face protection.