Protecting Your Eyes on the Job: The Importance of Employee Eye Protection and Safety

Eye Protection for Employees

Working in any industry, whether it’s manufacturing, construction, healthcare, or another field – employee eye protection and safety is a key factor in ensuring all employees are safe while they are on the job. Eye injuries can occur from debris, dust, splashes of liquid, and even from lasers or intense light. Therefore, it is important to understand the importance of having proper eye protection for employees in these industries. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of providing employees with proper eye protection and safety, as well as tips and advice on how to ensure they are properly protected while working.

Overview of Eye Protection for Employees

There are an estimated 2,000 work-related eye injuries that happen every day in the united states with studies showing 90% of them as preventable. (1)

Eye protection for employees is designed to protect the eyes from hazardous conditions, such as sparks, flying objects, dust particles, chemical splashes, and ultraviolet radiation. The type of eye protection needed depends on the type of environment that the employee will be working in.

Types of Eye Protection Available

Determining the type of eye protection in a company or job first requires the evaluation of eye injury risks.

  • Fly Debris or particulates – Safety glasses with side shields or wrap-around protection
  • Liquid splashing, sprays, or mists – Indirectly vented goggles
  • Fine dust or air-suspended particles – non-vented goggles

A proper eye protection program should always include a risk assessment that follows the hierarchy of controls, which will start by eliminating hazards to the eyes. Followed by substitutions of less hazardous material, administrative controls, and then selecting the appropriate PPE.

When selecting eye protection, make sure to involve the employees in the selection process and possibly offer more than one option. Price should not be a determining factor, a better-quality product may be more cost-effective overall due to employee compliance and care for a product that fits correctly.

safety glasses eye protection for employees

Cost of Eye Injuries in the Workplace

Not counting the personal pain and suffering that an eye injury has the potential to cause an employee, the “safety pays” calculator by OSHA has been used to determine the cost of a vision loss injury. This calculator estimates that a vision loss injury will have a direct cost of $76,000. In addition, indirect costs can add another $83,000 to the claim.

The cost of eye injuries in the workplace can be significant. Having a proper eye protection program in place is essential to prevent these types of injuries. Providing employees with the correct type of protective eyewear can help reduce the costs of these, mostly, preventable claims and costs.

Regulations and Standards in Place Regarding Employee Eye Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets regulations for safety standards in the workplace. OSHA’s standard 1910.133 states “the employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.”

In addition, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has developed standards for eye and face protection based on the type of hazard. More detail can be found in the ANSI Z87.1-2020 Current Standard for Eye Safety guide.

safety glasses eye protection for employees 1


Employee eye protection and safety should always be the priority when it comes to any job. By understanding the importance of providing employees with proper eye protection, employers can ensure their workers are safe from potential hazards and injuries while on the job. For more information on how to properly select eye protection for your employees, contact a certified safety

Contact WorkSafe to find out how we can help your company today!

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