The importance of eye protection in preventing injuries
Peter (Let’s call him that) was a 42-year-old accountant.
He loved playing squash. Every chance he got, he would look for friends and persuade them to join him on the squash court.
He always wore eye protection when playing.
One fine day Peter was ready for another game, while changing he noticed that he had forgotten to pack his safety goggles.
As he was eager to play, he told himself, ‘what could possibly happen?’ “I have been playing this game for over 15 years and nothing has ever happened.”
On that fateful day, Peter did not wear eye protection. During the game the ball caught him on his right eye.
I remember him as if it were yesterday. Grotesquely swollen eyelids, face beyond recognition and no light perception in his right eye.
To cut a long story short, Peter lost that eye.
This is something that happens more often than we know.
Someone forgets to put on their goggles while playing squash.
Someone forgets to put on their safety eyewear when welding.
Someone forgets to put on their protection while trimming the yard.
Everyday eye injuries occur in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It is difficult to say exactly how many people are affected.
One thing for sure is that the financial cost of such injuries is huge. This involves loss of production time at work, high medical bills, and of course, compensation for the worker.
Take a moment to think about possible eye hazards at your workplace.
What contributes to eye injuries at work?
1. Not wearing eye protection is reported to be the number one factor. Three out of every five workers injured were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident.
2. Wearing the wrong kind of a protection for the job has also been reported as one of the problems. Especially wearing safety glasses with no side shields.
3. Flying particles account for over 70 percent of most accidents. Most often the types of objects that fly around are sometimes even smaller than a pin head.
4. Contact with chemicals also play a huge role and account for many of the injuries.
Other causes include injuries from Tree limbs, chains, ropes, objects swinging from a fixed or attached position. These accidents occurred most often where people work with crafts and industrial equipment.
Those at highest risk are people like mechanics, welders, carpenters repairers and plumbers just to name a few.
Once people are using sanders, assemblers and grinding machines, the risk of injury is heightened.
How can we prevent injuries?
Always wear effective eye protection.
It should be appropriate and effective for the type of hazard encountered and should also allow for air to circulate between the eye and the lenses.
Companies are advised to provide eye safety training on a regular basis.
Maintenance is also important, as scratched or dented eye protective devices can reduce vision, cause glare and can even contribute to accidents.
Eye protection works!
It is estimated that over 90 percent of injuries can be prevented through the use of proper protective eyewear.
Remember to keep an eye on your eyes..