May 2009 Safety Tip
Say "AYE" to Eye Protection

In these days of rising prices, there is still one bargain to be found---EYE PROTECTION.

Relatively few dollars buys the safety equipment that can protect your eyes from such on-the-job hazards as dust, glare, and flying objects. But while such protective equipment as safety goggles, glasses and face shields is affordable, eye injury or loss is expensive to many - to the victim of the accident, the department that employs that person, and even to the general public.

The comparative cost of eye protection is small. After all, how much is an eye worth? We can be sure that many eye injuries are not the result of lack of protection. Rather, they result from not using the eye protective equipment provided. This protection is not used due to many excuses, NONE of which are legitimate.

The highest price for on-the-job eye accidents is paid by the victim of such an accident: financial setbacks, time away from employment, and Worker's Compensation only paying a percentage of their weekly wage.

Perhaps the steepest price the victim of an eye accident must pay is in personal suffering. The pain and shock they must endure cannot be calculated in terms of dollars and cents. If they lose sight of both eyes, they have lost a whole way of life. That's the price we, as employees, may have to pay when we disregard wearing our eye protection when necessary.

An unprotected eye can be a painful and expensive proposition.

OSHA General Industry Standards provide guidance regarding protection (also see Page 5 of County Policy A-2207). WEAR EYE PROTECTION and WEAR IT CORRECTLY! If you are provided eye protection and are unsure of what type it is or how to wear the eye protection, contact your supervisor immediately for appropriate training. Training is mandatory for each employee that is required by his or her employer to wear personal protective equipment.

Safety glasses, goggles, and face shields can provide protection for your eyes. An unguarded moment may result in tragedy. What would make it even more tragic is if the accident occurred while ample eye protective equipment was resting on the victim's forehead instead of over their eyes.


OHSA's eye protection web page has on on-line slideshow for eye and face protection that illustrates various work conditions and the types of protection that should be used.

Maricopa County employees can contact the Safety Office at 602-506-8601 for this information. Other readers with questions concerning worker training should contact their OSHA regional (Region 9 for Arizona) or area office (may be a State office (ADOSH in Arizona)) for more information.

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