Personal responsibility is essential in protecting eyesight at work, home

| May 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

Wayne Combs
U.S. Army Public Health Command (Provisional)

Courtesy PhotoABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — According to statistics from the U.S. Army Public Health Command (Provisional), the average Soldier who suffers an eye injury is a private first class to a sergeant.

Other stats describe the Soldier: a 20- to 24-year old male who is struck by an object while performing combat Soldiering, participating in sports or doing maintenance, repair or servicing,  and one who is not wearing eye protection at the time of the injury. 

The Soldier will lose an average of 6.1 workdays at an average cost of $9,724 because of the injury. 

However, many of these injuries are avoidable if Soldiers don’t take their vision for granted, and leaders ensure that appropriate eye protection is worn.

To ensure vision protection at work, follow eye safety signs and procedures, know what to do if a hazardous material splashes into the eye, and know where the nearest eyewash station is and how to use it. 

Always wear approved eye protection for mechanical, chemical, biological or radiant energy (from such sources as welding, lasers or sunlight) hazards, and make sure the eye protection is clean and in good shape.

According to the American National Standards Institute, the industry code “Z87” must be marked on the side of eye protection. 

For training and operational duties, a ballistic standard is required. Military Combat Eye Protection approved by Program Executive Office Soldier and labeled “APEL,” for Approved Protective Eyewear List, significantly exceeds ANSI Z87 standards and meets this requirement.

Report all eye hazards to supervisors. If an eye injury occurs, call emergency medical services, immediately.

Contact lenses should not be worn where there is smoke, dust or fumes, or when training or deployed. 

Wear sunglasses that absorb the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays while outside. Both clear and tinted MCEP lenses provide UV protection. A broad-brimmed hat also helps protect the eyes.

Remember to wear approved eye protection when working on cars or around the house, and be aware of eye dangers: mechanical hazards, such as rust or flying objects, and chemical hazards, such as battery acid and radiant hazards. 

MCEP exceeds safety glasses standards and can also be worn in the home working environment.

Always wear appropriate, approved eye protection when playing sports. For eye-hazardous sports, wear American Society for Testing and Materials-approved eyewear that contains protective lenses.

Additionally, have an eye exam every two or three years, or sooner as directed. Early detection and correction of eye problems is important. 

Above all, use common sense to protect your vision.

Category: Community, Safety

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