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Toolbox Talk - Wear eye protection properly

Max People Health & Safety Bulletin

Precious sight

There is no question about how fragile our eyes are and how important it is to protect them. We all know to wear eye protection on the job, but today we want to talk about how eye injuries can happen and how to prevent them. The majority of eye injuries do not occur because we failed to wear safety glasses. In fact, many injuries happen while we are wearing them.

Tips to work safety

  • Wearing glasses down on the nose doesn't offer much protection. This often happens when your safety glasses are too dirty, scratched, or fogged up. Give them a clean or replace if necessary.
  • Even when glasses are worn properly, 'cutting' your eyes and looking over the top of your glasses creates an opening for debris to fall through. Bend your neck and look directly at your work.
  • When operating a drill just above ground, we often have to turn it sideways. The vent from the gun can easily blow dust or metal shavings form the ground up into our eyes.
  • When lifting any kind of material overhead, debris from above can easily fall behind your glasses.
  • Remember, we work in hot conditions and tend to sweat. If you do not keep your face, especially your forehead clean, the perspiration can easily 'wash' debris into your eye.
  • Along that same line, we often reach up and wipe the sweat from our eyes with our hands. Many times, debris from your hand is actually rubbed into the eye.
  • When working in windy conditions (i.e. window openings, elevator shafts, rooftops etc.) be aware that debris may blow into the air as well as into the eye.
  • When cutting metal metal or screwing overhead, the metal shavings often fly or fall onto our hardhats, or even settle on the top of our safety glasses. In addition, we often use full-face shields to protect our eyes. When we take our hat off or raise the face-shield, the debris can fall into the eyes. You should always bend over, take your hardhat and glasses off, and clean them before you proceed.

Preventing all eye injuries depends on all of us being aware of the many possibilities of exposures, recognizing them, and taking the proper steps to eliminate the exposure.