Eye Protection

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CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training

Summary Statement

This toolbox talk was created by NIOSH and CPWR and covers the proper use of eye protection. The design allows workers to view a graphic while the facilitator presents the information. After the talk, the sheet can be posted on the jobsite with the graphic side out to reinforce the key points.
2013

CPWR Toolbox Talk logoNearly three out of five workers are injured because they were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A simple scratch from sawdust, cement, or drywall can cause recurring pain. Two of the most common causes of vision loss in construction workers are metal slivers released during hammering on metal and nails rebounding during normal carpentry. But some eye injuries can also occur from exposure over a period of time.

Here is an Example

William, a welder in San Diego, was working on a project site for the past year. He used equipment that exposed his eyes to welding light every day. He began experiencing “welders’ flash,” a condition caused by the intense light of welding burning the eyes and surrounding tissue. Although William went to the doctor for treatment, he still is having recurring discomfort in his eyes and as a result can no longer work.

  1. What eye protection should William have worn?
  2. How can we prevent eye injuries?

Preventing Eye Injuries

  • Make sure the safety eyewear has “Z87” marked on the frame and in some cases the lens. (Safety glasses are tested by shooting a 1/4” BB at 100mph at the lens and dropping a 1 lb pointed weight from 4’ on the lens. If it breaks in either test it won’t have the Z87 mark.)
  • Wear a welding helmets for all arc welding requiring shade numbers 10-14. Typically welding goggles can be used for gas welding or cutting with shade numbers 4-8. Goggles worn with face shields offer the best protection.
  • Wear a face shields when using grinding wheels.
  • Keep you safety glasses in good shape. Lens can scratch. Store them in an old sock before they are tossed into a tool chest or the seat of a car or pickup.
  • If something gets in your eye, use the eye wash station. Eyes should be rinsed with clean water for at least 15-20 minutes.

What Are We Going to Do Today?

What will we do here at the worksite today to prevent eye injuries? What eye hazards do we have on this jobsite?

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2.____________________________________________________________

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OSHA REGULATIONS: 1926.102

Graphic of a worker wearing a face shield while using a grinding wheel.

  • Make sure the safety eyewear has "Z87" marked on the frame and in some cases the lens.
  • Wear a face shields when using grinding wheels.
  • If something gets in your eye, use the eye wash station. Eyes should be rinsed with clean water for at least 15-20 minutes.