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Reid Supply shares eye protection tips

Reid Supply Co. is encouraging the use of a checklist released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to help reduce job-related eye injuries.

According to the NIOSH, every day, about 2,000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About 13 of those injuries require treatment at a hospital and more than 100 result in one or more days of lost work.

Reid Eye Protection

Most eye-related injuries result from small particles or objects striking the eye, according to NIOSH. Metal, wood and cement are frequently ejected by tools and blown into workers’ eyes. This can lead to serious injuries, and 10 to 20 percent of these injuries will lead to temporary or permanent vision loss. About 1 million Americans have lost some degree of their sight due to an eye injury.

Reid Supply Co., Muskegon, Mich., recommends employers inform their employees of NIOSH’s Five Point Eye Safety Checklist.

1. Create a safe work environment.

Minimize hazards from falling or unstable debris.

Make sure that tools work and safety features (machine guards) are in place.

Make sure that workers (particularly volunteers) know how to use tools properly.

Keep bystanders out of the hazard area.

2. Evaluate safety hazards.

Identify the primary hazards at the site.

Identify hazards posed by nearby workers, large machinery and falling and shifting debris.

3. Wear the proper eye and face protection.

Select the appropriate Z87 eye protection for the hazard.

Make sure the eye protection is in good condition.

Make sure the eye protection fits properly and will stay in place.

4. Use good work practices.

Brush, shake or vacuum dust and debris from hardhats, hair forehead or the top of the eye protection before removing the protection.

Do not rub eyes with dirty hands or clothing.

Clean eyewear regularly.

5. Prepare for eye injuries and first aid needs. Have an eye wash or sterile solution on hand.

To assist employers in communicating the importance of diligent eye protection, NIOSH has created an Eye Safety Tool Box Talk instructor’s guide. The guide covers the following:

<• How many work-related eye injuries are there each day?

• What are the eye hazards at your site?

• How can you reduce those eye hazards?

PreventBlindness.org recommends that employers establish a 100 percent mandatory program for eye protection in all operation areas of an employer’s worksite. A broad program prevents more injuries and is easier to enforce than one that limits eye protection to certain departments, areas or jobs. Select protective eyewear that is designed for the specific duty or hazard. Protective eyewear must meet the current standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and later revisions.

Employers can find more information at Reid Supply Co.’s Health and Workplace Safety section on its Web site.

Posted July 13

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