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There’s a sign over a bench grinder which reads, "DO NOT REMOVE SHIELDS FROM GRINDER. SPARE EYES AND FINGERS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE." Amusing, but true! An injury to any part of the eye can result in a permanent loss of vision.
Those who have had close calls and nearly lost their eyesight are usually very conscious of wearing eye protection. They look for and recognize the unsafe conditions that may affect their eyes. A lot of us, however, take these hazards to the eyes far too lightly. Perhaps it would benefit us all to reflect on the things that we can and should do to safeguard our eyesight.
For your safety, follow these eye safety tips:
- Wear your goggles or face shield when doing any work that presents an eye injury hazard.
- Don't wear dirty, greasy, scratched or badly worn safety goggles — they can distort your vision. It's better to take the time to clean them, or if necessary, replace them.
- Be especially careful of splashes or spills when opening containers of acids, caustics or other harmful liquids that could cause injury to the eyes or face.
- Don't wear contact lenses in production plants where chemicals, spray mists or flying particles could cause injury. Contact lenses should never be used as a substitute for proper eye protection.
- When working with grinders or power tools, be especially careful by keeping your face a safe distance from the tool and away from the line of work just in case a tool breaks or particles fly up.
- Keep your mind on your work, particularly when eye hazards are involved. Remember, it only takes a fraction of a second for a fragment or particle to damage an eye.
- If you do get a particle in your eye, do not rub the eye to dislodge it. Rubbing the eye could cause an abrasion. Use clean, warm water to wash the particle out.
- Always be alert to tool hazards such as mushroomed heads on chisels, cracked hammers and badly worn screwdrivers. These tools have caused serious eye injuries far too often.
Remember that you are the one who can do the most when it comes to protecting your eyesight. Your eyes can't be replaced.
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