Protecting Your Eyes

Source: Aleksandar Kosev - 123RF

Source: Udo Schotten – 123RF


Our eyes are one of your most important sensory objects, allowing you to identify hazards from a distance.

As valuable as your eyes are, they are also sensitive to light, heat, and particulates. For this reason, it’s imperative that you protect your eyes.

Because every workplace is different, there is no universal eye protection–appropriate eye protection is suited to specific hazards. Effectively protecting your eyes means identifying your workplace hazards. For instance, an arc welder could cause damage due to the intense bright light the welder creates. As a result you would want light shielding to protect from both visible and ultraviolet light. Working with chemicals could cause chemical burns, so you would want a splash guard. If you are involved in grinding materials or sandblasting, you would want protection from floating particulates.

In addition to readily identifiable hazards, you should also take care to protect yourself from hazards that are not immediately apparent. Eye infections, such as conjunctivitis, or pink eye, are highly contagious. Don’t share eyewear and be sure to wash your eyewear after use. If you work with materials that could convey infectious diseases, be sure to wear additional protective equipment, such as gloves or masks, as appropriate.

There are several key steps that will help you protect your eyes at your workplace. These are:

  • Create a safe work environment;
  • Evaluate safety hazards;
  • Wear appropriate eye and face protection;
  • Use good work practices; and
  • Clean eyewear regularly.

Are your eyes protected? Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control‘s Eye Safety Checklist for more detailed steps that will help you create a safe workplace for your eyes.

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