Eye Safety and Personal Protection Equipment

eyewashThousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. OSHA reports that eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation. Among the most common hazards for eye and face injury are flying objects such as large chips, fragments and sand/dirt; chemical hazards such as fumes and vapors; harmful dust and anything emitting extreme heat.

One of the first obligations for employers on a worksite is to complete a written hazard assessment to determine what potential dangers exist for workers and to make sure proper protection is available. Proper training is also paramount when it comes to using respirators and eye protection, specifically workers should know:

  • When PPE is necessary
  • What PPE is necessary
  • How to properly adjust, and wear PPE
  • The limitations of the PPE
  • The proper care, maintenance of PPE.

Eyewash Stations and Safety

Eyewash facilities are required in workplaces where corrosive chemicals are used (29 CFR 1910.151(c)), and where there is any possibility that an employee’s eyes may be splashed with solutions containing harmful chemicals.

Water found in improperly maintained eyewash stations is more likely to contain organisms (for example: Acanthamoeba, Pseudomonas, Legionella) that thrive in stagnant or untreated water and are known to cause infections. When a worker uses an eyewash station that is not maintained, organisms in the water may come into contact with the eye, skin, or may be inhaled.

OSHA’s final rule on eye safety became effective on April 25, 2016. For more information, and to schedule a complimentary safety audit of your worksite, contact Diversified Safety Services.


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