Roughly 520,000 employees each year suffer a job-related eye injury requiring medical treatment. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates these injuries cost employers more than $300 million in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.
While educating employees on the proper use of eye and face wear protection is important, just as important is the implementation of an eye and face wear maintenance program.
To craft your maintenance program first you need to create a log book for eye and face, personal protection equipment. The easiest way to complete this task is to number each piece of PPE with a permanent marker and place the corresponding number in the vertical rows of an excel file or log book. The horizontal rows will represent dates. After creating the log book you need to train your employees on upkeep so they can properly check their equipment each day and sign off on its condition in the log book.
Here are some basic guidelines you can use impart to your employees.
- Regularly clean safety glasses and goggles with mild soap and water.
- When lens are dirtied on the job, rinse with water before wiping to prevent scratching.
- Store eye protection preferably in a clean dust-proof case or in a safe place such as the top shelf of a locker where it won't get scratched or otherwise damaged.
- Replace safety glasses if frames are bent, and replace goggles if headbands are loose, twisted, knotted or worn. Replace any kind of eye protection if lenses are scratched or pitted and impair vision.
- Replace headbands that no longer contain elasticity, are sweat-soaked, broken or twisted.
- Repair or throw away protection that does not properly hold face guards in place.
Have the employees check the condition of their PPE before the beginning of each shift and initial in the log book showing they performed the required inspections.
By having this program in place you will not only reinforce the proper maintenance of PPE, but create a helpful reminder for your employees to properly use their PPE.