Eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of the body. Plus, we only get one pair—reason enough to pay extra attention to our baby blues (or greens, browns, or hazels).
Protecting our eyes is not only important, it’s necessary. This is especially true when it comes to work zones. With large equipment being moved around on job sites and motorists driving past, there is a chance that rocks or road debris could be kicked up — propelling projectiles into the air that may cause harm to you or someone else. Whether by a truck or a jackhammer, a projectile to the face isn’t pretty (watch the video below to see for yourself).
According to the CDC, about 300,000 Americans are sent to the emergency room annually due to eye injuries that happen in the workplace. That’s potentially 600,000 eyeballs! Last year alone, over 22,000 of nonfatal eye injuries kept people from reporting to their jobs (BLS News Release 2016). If each one of these workers missed just on, eight-hour workday, this would total more than 176,000 hours of lost work time.
EYE DANGERS IN THE WORK ZONE
Hazards to your eyes vary in size and material and could come from anywhere. Common ones found in work zones are flying objects or debris, such as metal, glass, or stones; tools; and chemicals. Some think that just wearing their normal sunglasses or prescription glasses will do the job; however, this may actually cause more harm than good (as seen in the video below). If an unforeseen flying object hits your everyday eyeglasses, the frames and lenses could break — sending glass or the projectile itself directly into your eye. This type of eyewear isn’t meant for work zone eye protection and just doesn’t cut it when it comes to keeping your eyes safe while on the job.
All Flagger Force employees are required to wear ANSI rated Z87 eye protection when on a job site. This material is built to resist breaking when hit with flying debris. In fact, safety glasses are tested for impact and durability — offering higher standards for both frames and lenses. For those who need to wear eyeglasses, larger Z87 eyewear that can be worn over them. Another option is to talk to your doctor about prescription safety glasses and side shields.
Let’s not lose sight over things (pun intended). Safety glasses may not be the most glamorous, but they’re one of the most important pieces of PPE. Wearing them is an easy decision to make for our priceless sense of sight.