Do You Protect Your Eyes and Face?

Protecting your eyes and face is important in the workplace and outside of work. Thousands of people are blinded each year from work related eye injuries that could have been prevented with proper eye and face protection.

The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) requires employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment however, eye injuries in the workplace are very common. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, each day 2,000 U.S. workers experience a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. One third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments. In addition, healthcare and laboratory workers may be at risk of acquiring infectious diseases from eye exposure. This can occur through direct exposure to blood splashes, respiratory droplets generated during coughing, or from touching the eyes with contaminated fingers or objects.

In the Lab:

When to Wear Eye Protection:

  • To prevent exposure of blood or infectious materials in the eyes or face.
  • When there is risk for splash, such as, transferring buffers or reagents.
  • When transferring liquid nitrogen – be sure to wear safety goggles and a full-face shield.
  • When working with lasers – be sure to wear ANSI approved glasses for the appropriate wavelength.

In the Event of an Exposure:

  • Flush the contaminated area for 15 minutes.
  • Seek medical attention.
  • Notify your supervisor and Occupational Injury Management at 404-686-5500.
  • Report the incident through PeopleSoft.

Contact your EHSO Research Safety Building Liaison if you have any questions or need assistance in evaluating PPE.

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