Keeping Your Eyes Safe

Your eyes are extremely delicate, and even a minor injury can cause serious damage, even permanent vision loss.

At work – and at home – always think about how a task or environment might affect your eyes, and plan accordingly.

Remember, just wearing normal glasses or sunglasses will NOT protect your eyes. In fact, these can make injuries worse.

Jobs that pose a high risk for eye injury include those that involve:


-dusty environments

-excessively bright lights or UV lights

-compressed air

-machines or tools that chip, chisel, cut, drill, grind, hammer, sand, smelt, spray or weld.

Plus, you need to watch out for factors in your workplace that can increase the risk of eye injury, such as:

-workers not wearing supplied eye protection

-not enough training on eye protection equipment

-badly fitting eye protection, for example, the glasses are loose and allow particles to enter from the sides

-only the operator of the machine wears eye protection, so anyone in the vicinity who is not wearing eye protection is at risk from flying particles.

How to protect your eyes

Always use eye protection that compiles with your national Standards, and choose protection that fits the situation:

-Low impact protection – for tasks including chipping, riveting, spalling, hammering and managing a strap under tension. Recommended protection includes safety glasses, safety glasses with side shields, safety clip-ons, eye cup goggles, wide vision goggles, eye shields and face shields.

-Medium impact protection – for tasks including scaling, grinding and machining metals, some woodworking tasks, stone dressing, wire handling and brick cutting. Choose items appropriate for medium impact protection.

-High impact protection – for tasks including explosive power tools and nail guns. Recommended protection includes face shields, marked as appropriate for high impact protection.

-For chemicals, use protection designed specifically for dealing with chemicals – the protection may differ depending on the chemicals in use.

-For dust, choose protection designed for dealing with dust and fine particles.

All protection should conform to national or international standards.