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THE 'EYES' HAVE IT

One of the greatest assets we have is our eyes, giving us the ability to see. What would it be like not to see loved ones or the colors and wonders of our world, to be unable to drive? Take a moment, close your eyes and FEEL the darkness! It's a scary feeling not being able to see.

A construction project, worksite, or just your own work at home - all have many eye hazards. A minor injury can turn into disaster if the injury is to your eyes. OSHA regulation 1926.102 (a) states: "employees shall be provided with eye and face protection equipment when machines or operations present potential eye or face injury from physical, chemical or radiation agents". Here are just some of the possible dangers that could damage your eyes -- particles in the air, harmful vapors, hot metal, sparks, chemicals, light rays from welding, and flying objects.

There are various types of eye protection -- safety glasses, face shields, chemical goggles, welding hoods, burning goggles, etc. Each has a particular level of protection. Safety glasses give you a general overall means of protection. Under some circumstances combinations can be worn to give you the best protection. For example, you would want to wear chemical goggles and a splash shield if you were working with acid.

In this OSHA standard, Table E-1, 'Eye and Face Protection Selection Guide' shows eleven types of safety eyewear. Each has a specific protection factor. The table is broken down into three areas, Operation, Hazard's, and Recommended Protectors. All you have to do is look under the operation list and match your task, or locate the hazard you're dealing with under the hazard column and it will tell you what protection is required.

If you have any doubt whether you need eye protection ask your supervisor. Unless they meet ALL safety requirements, your eyeglasses or sunglasses may not be used as a substitute. And remember, safety glasses are only good if you WEAR THEM! If you keep them in your pocket or on top of your-hard hat they won't do the job.

WEAR YOUR SAFETY GLASSES - SAVE YOUR SIGHT! ONE UNGUARDED MOMENT COULD RESULT IN A LIFETIME OF DARKNESS!

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