The majority of eye injuries found in construction sites are a result of small objects or particles, such as metal silvers and dust striking the eyes. Research have shown that close to 70% of such injuries are caused by falling or flying objects.
An eye injury is significant as they can cause a permanent loss of vision for the affected worker. Blunt force traumas as a result of workers running into an object is another major issue to the eyes. In addition, workers on construction sites are also exposed to chemicals that could splash their eyes.
If you are looking to keep your workers protected from such dangers to their eyes during construction, here’s what you need to know.
Occupation and Eye Injuries
The vulnerability of eye injuries depends on which section in construction a worker is currently engaged in. Craft workers in a construction site, for instance, have the highest rate of eye injuries as compared to other workers. Other workers with the same vulnerability of eye exposure include electricians, pipefitters and plumbers.
When selecting the most appropriate eye protection for your construction workers, here are the essential factors you should consider:
- Personal vision needs
- The type of exposure
- The extent of hazard considering Singapore regulatory requirements if available
To achieve the head-to-toe protection of the eyes of your workers, you should integrate eye protection with PPE. You should also ensure that they fit the worker using them with a small adjustment space to help them provide maximum coverage.
You should not underestimate the importance of comfort when it comes to eye protection. The eyewear must be comfortable enough to last the worker throughout the day. Some essential comfort-enhancing features you can look at include the padded nose, flexible temples, cushioned eyebrows, adjustable angles on the lenses and vented frames. It is also crucial to look at anti-fogging features on googles.
With protective equipment, you may wish to consider the worker’s taste and style. Research has shown that workers who are able to express themselves with their protective equipment can lead to better compliance.
Conducting Training on PPE Use
Conducting training to workers that require eye and face protection in their construction work is crucial. Most workers who end up hurting their eyes during work argue that they did not feel the eye protections were appropriate for their situation. While most construction sites in Singapore provide proper eye protection, most workers may find it uncomfortable to wear eye protection gear.
The crucial points to go through during safety training include:
- When and why they should wear eye protection
- How they can get a replacement for their eye protection when it is worn out
- The enforcement process of eye protective equipment
- What they should do when eye protective equipment is missing
Permanent loss of vision can be caused when minor injuries are not treated immediately. As such, a simple scratch from cement sawdust or even metal should never be taken lightly. However, such injuries are preventable through protective eyewear.
With all that said, ensuring that your workers wear eye protection gear can protect your workers against short and long-term eye problems. The law explicitly outlines that employers are liable in the case of any injuries. Therefore, you should ensure that your workers go through relevant and appropriate safety courses before they start any construction work.