Eye Protection: Goggles, not Glasses-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eye Protection: Goggles, not Glasses

According to OSHA, an estimated 1,000 eye injuries occur in American workplaces every day.  Most of these injuries could have been prevented if the person would have been wearing eye protection. Contact with chemicals causes one-fifth of all eye injuries.  Most of the injured workers who did not wear their eye protection said they did not believe it was required by the situation.  The lesson here is that you can never predict what will happen next and that it is always better to be “safe than sorry”.

One of the most common safety inspection violations in Carnegie Mellon’s labs is not wearing adequate eye protection. Most of our lab areas contain chemicals which could cause damage to your eyes if they were to come in contact with them.  Safety goggles are required in all areas that use hazardous materials.  Safety glasses do NOT provide sufficient protection for chemical splashes.  If you will be working on a process where chemical splashes are even slightly possible, you must wear goggles.  Putting them on as soon as you enter the lab is a good habit to get into.  Eye protection is an important issue in the workplace outside of the university and failure to comply with your employer’s policies could result in your suspension or even job loss.  Repeated failure to wear eye protection here at Carnegie Mellon could result in you losing your lab privileges.

Besides safety glasses and goggles, make sure you know where your eyewash is located in your lab and how it operates. Remember you need to flush your eyes for at least 15 minutes.  Test your eyewashes often to ensure that they are working properly and that you have a clean and clear flow of water.   (Before you test, be sure that the drain to the eyewash is piped into the drain system.  Some areas need to have a bucket placed under the unit for testing purposes!)

Safety Goggles  DO USE THIS
Regular Glasses
          NOT THIS