The greatest friend a worker’s eyes have while on the job are his safety glasses. They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, but they have only one purpose—to protect the worker’s eyes.
A tiny speck of dust in the eye can feel like an oversized clinker. It can cause temporary loss of vision and a great deal of discomfort and pain. That is because the eye must be extremely sensitive in order to perform its function of receiving light rays. It must also be directly exposed and is at the mercy of glare and flying particles.
The best way to see safely is through proper eye protection—safety glasses, goggles or shields. One type of eye protection alone is not enough. The wearer will feel safer and be safer when he is wearing the eye protection provided for use in the performance of duties associated with specified operations.
Safety glasses can be classified as common sense protection. They should be worn as insurance against hidden hazards—the tiny piece of grit that comes from nowhere, or the wire end that is unexpectedly flipped eyeward. While safety glasses serve a very definite purpose, they do not offer 100 per cent protection and are not intended to replace goggles or shields when those devices are specified.
It is just as important to use correct eye protection, as it is to use the correct tool. For instance, a wrench is a poor substitute for a hammer, just as safety glasses are poor substitutes for goggles when a grinding wheel is being used.
Plastic safety goggles should be worn when grinding, drilling, cleaning or performing operations where there is danger from flying objects such as dirt or metallic particles getting into the eyes. They should also be worn when work is being performed beneath another work location from which dust or dirt particles are likely to be released. This can happen at any location where it is necessary to look up while performing a work operation. As an extra safeguard, where dust or dirt may enter the ventilating holes in the frame of the goggles, the holes may be covered temporarily with scotch tape.
Where a severe impact hazard does not exist, but frontal and lateral eye protection is required, face shields may be worn instead of safety goggles. These shields can be worn over regular safety glasses.
The chances of having a close shave in an eye accident are many and varied and it is only by utilizing all the devices available that complete protection can be obtained.
Before performing any operation, the safe worker thinks of safety.
Whenever your safety goggles seem to annoy you, just remember that you’ll have more trouble trying to see out of a glass eye.