The Eyes (Need to) Have It

Did you know that contractors paid more than $2.6 million in OSHA fines for allegations associated with failing to protect their employees’ eyes and faces in 2016?

That’s the third-highest total of all violation categories. If that doesn’t get your attention, there’s this: According to OSHA, eye injuries cost employers more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker’s compensation claims.

HD Supply White Cap, a safety supply company, recently offered a four-level eye protection plan to attendees at World of Concrete that can be a helpful reference for the workers on your job site or in your shop.

  • Level 1: Nonprescription and prescription safety glasses might look like regular glasses, but the lenses and frames are much stronger. They provide protection in working conditions where dust, chips, or flying particles are present. Only safety glasses with a Z87 mark on the lens or frame meet the required ANSI standards. And don’t discount sunlight and glare—these common hazards are routinely overlooked in safety audits, but they can contribute to unsafe conditions and lower productivity. Safety glasses equipped with standard gray, brown, or mirrored lenses can help.
  • Level 2: Safety goggles protect eyes and areas of the face surrounding eyes from impacts, dust, and chemical splash. They envelope the eye and mid-face area, shielding against hazards coming from any direction and can be worn over non-safety prescription glasses.
  • Level 3: Face shields protect a worker’s entire face. They can be worn over safety glasses or goggles to reduce exposure to flying debris and other materials.
  • Level 4: Special equipment like helmets or goggles with special filters to protect eyes from radiation exposure is used for tasks like welding. Consider full-face respirators for severe conditions like sandblasting, acid etching, or other applications involving silica dust.