Eye and Face Protection

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. Healthcare and laboratory workers are at risk of eye exposures to chemicals and infectious materials. This can occur through direct exposure to splashes or from touching the eyes with contaminated fingers or objects. 

In the Lab:  

When to Wear Eye Protection: 

  • To prevent exposure from chemicals, infectious materials, or particulates. 
  • When there is a splash risk such as transferring buffers or reagents.  
  • Working with lasers (wear ANSI approved glasses for the appropriate wavelength).

When to Wear a Face Shield with Goggles:  

  • Transferring liquid nitrogen or removing vials from liquid nitrogen. 
  • Handling large volumes (>4L) of corrosive liquids. 
  • Handling potentially explosive chemicals (this would also require a blast shield).

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. PPE can be purchased through Emory Express. Prescription protective eyewear is also available through companies such as Fisher Scientific, Honeywell, and  Uvex.

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