The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is reminding everyone to wear eye protection at home and at work.
According to the National Society to Prevent Blindness, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving sight, more than 1,000 eye injuries of all types occur every day in the U.S., with 100,000 of them resulting in some vision loss every year. At work, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that three out of five workers who suffered an eye injury did not wear eye protection, and of those who did, 40 percent wore the wrong kind.
ASSE has a vested interest in eye protection. The organization is the secretariat for the American National Standard Institute''s Eye and Face Protection standard Z87.1-1989 (revised -1998), "Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection." The standard provides requirements for the workplace to assure angular protection, in addition to frontal protection and is included in several state and federal regulations. It applies to occupational and educational environments where eye and face hazards exist.
There are other guidelines available to help pick the best eye protection for the hazards involved. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require that employers provide workers with suitable eye protection. For information on these standards check www.osha.gov in the technical section. Also, check the National Society to Prevent Blindness for more information on effective eye safety by calling 1-800-331-2020 or www.preventblindness.org.
The Z87.1 - 1989 (R-1998) standard, outlined in a well-illustrated handbook, is available to the public for $34 by contacting ASSE''s [email protected] or by going online at www.asse.org, note order 3322. ASSE members can purchase it for $22.
Eye safety isn''t just important at work. ASSE encourages home-repair hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers to be cautious. Workshops have hazards such as solvents, adhesives, paints, and dyes that contain harmful chemicals that can threaten your eyes. Splashes, spills and fumes can injure or irritate exposed eyes. ASSE cautions wearing the proper eye protection: goggles for working with solvents, adhesives, etc., and full-face shields for work with grinders and equipment that result in chips and flying objects.
For further information, see the related article "How Much Eye Protection Is Enough?"
by Sandy Smith ([email protected])