October is Eye Injury Prevention Month. It’s a good time to remember that most eye injuries are preventable. Construction workers have one of the highest rates of eye injury, but workers in many other professions are also at risk. Welding, masonry work and laboratory work can all be hazardous to your eye health. And even eye injuries that seem minor can cause permanent vision problems.

Industrial eye safety

Simple steps to protect your eyes on the job site or in the lab:

  • Get the right eye protection for the job. For example, welding requires a helmet with a face mask as well as safety goggles. If you wear glasses to improve your vision, make sure the eye and face protection you wear at work fits over them. The opticians at The Sight Shop can help you select comfortable, shatterproof eyewear that works with your safety gear.
  • Wear your eye protection. If it’s uncomfortable or you don’t like how it looks, shop for eye protection you will wear. Safety glasses and goggles are available in many styles for comfort and personal preference. Most are reasonably priced.
  • Don’t remove your eye protection too soon. Wear it in all work zones, even if you’re taking a break or walking from place to place.
  • Protect your eyewear to make it last.

More industrial eye safety tips:

  • Check your safety glasses and goggles for “ANSI 787” or “787+” on the frame, lens or both. Use tinted safety glasses for torch soldering or welding, and make sure you have the appropriate tint (welding requires more than soldering, and the shade number is marked on the lens).
  • Make sure your safety glasses or goggles have side protection. A wraparound style is best. Because particles can fall from above, brow protection along the top of the glasses is ideal.
  • Safety goggles are stronger than safety glasses. Wear goggles for sawing, chipping, masonry, pouring cement, using a nail gun or working with chemicals or whenever your supervisor tells you they are necessary.
  • Wear eye protection under your face shield and helmet. Particles and objects can get under the face shield and cause eye injury.
  • Make sure eye protection fits snugly against your face.

What is the best material for safety glasses and safety goggles?

Polycarbonate is shatterproof and impact resistant. Because it scratches more easily than glass or plastic, an anti-scratch coating is a good idea. Store your glasses or goggles in a case or old sock if they didn’t come with a case. The sock helps prevent scratches. Or talk to your Sight Shop optician about a protective case.

Can my eye doctor help with workplace eye safety?

Yes. A qualified eye doctor is familiar with all the issues involved in workplace eye safety. Your eye doctor can help you choose the best protective eyewear and find safety resources. He or she can also diagnose and treat injuries.

Concerned about eye safety or a possible injury? Contact Oregon Eye Specialists for an appointment or call us at 503 935-5580. With 10 convenient locations, we have a clinic near you.