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Eye damage

Eye damage are common in many sectors, but Construction and Industry are particularly vulnerable. Dirt, radiation, chemicals, cold – the list of things that can damage the eyes is long. Eyes are sensitive and difficult to repair, and damage that occurs may be permanent. Even if the number of reported injuries is high, the number of unreported cases is also high. Many people who experience eye irritation due to external influences wait too long to seek help, and once they do, it may be too late to treat.

Active protection against eye damages

Tips to protect yourself against eye damages:

Identify the hazards
Conduct a proper workplace risk analysis to identify the hazards.

Wear eye protection.
Different workplaces, different risks. Make sure to use the correct type of protection to eliminate the damage. There is eye protection available for every situation. Make sure that the correct type is used.

Inspect the eye protection
We want to remove things that obstruct our view. By regularly inspecting eye protection and removing those that are worn out, you ensure that it will be used.

Various types of eye damages

Mechanical, optical, chemical and thermal injuries are some of the types of eye damages you could suffer.

  • Mechanical damage

Caused by solid particles such as dust and shavings. Dust causes irritation of the eye, and larger particles can penetrate and damage the cornea.

  • Optical damage

These injuries are caused by radiation. Exposure to intense or prolonged radiation or differences in light can damage your eyes. Ultraviolet rays can cause eye inflammation. The condition is not perceived immediately after exposure to light. It emerges several hours later and may lead to corneal inflammation or conjunctivitis, which is an inflammation of the eye.

Very bright light can cause dazzle. This impairs vision for a short or long period of time, but is usually temporary.

Infrared radiation can burn the retina. Anyone permanently exposed to infrared radiation is at risk of cataracts.

Laser radiation can burn holes in the retina and cause permanent eye damage.

  • Chemical damage

Chemical damage can be caused by many different types of chemicals, such as alkaline solutions and acids.
As little as one drop of acid can lead to corneal ulceration and permanent scarring. Alkaline solutions can be even more dangerous. A few drops may permanently cloud the entire cornea.

  • Thermal damage

High heat and severe cold are risk factors. Heat irritates the cornea by drying it out. Extended exposure to cold causes the eyes to tear and may also cause symptoms of frostbite.

What types of protection are available?

While the eye is sensitive and exposed, there is very good protection available:
Safety glasses – protect against impact and optical radiation. Available with or without side guards.
Safety goggles – protect against dust, impact, molten metal, droplets and optical radiation. Their frame must provide complete coverage.
Face shield – protects the face from impact, dust, molten metal, chemical splashes, heat and optical radiation. Sometimes combined with a helmet or respiratory protection.

What color lens should I use?

Colorless glass (low UV protection)
Amber yellow enhances contrasts (low UV protection)
Light blue (relaxed and focused view)
AR Anti-reflective (low UV protection but good light transmission)
Silver mirror, changing light (high UV protection)
Gray, Brown lenses provides natural glare and high UV protection.

What the law says

The eye protection must be labeled on its lens and frame, indicating what it protects against. The labeling is coded and is made up of various letters and numbers. An explanation of the codes can be found in the instructions for use. The Work Environment Act contains rules on the obligations of employers and others responsible for protection to prevent ill-health and accidents at work. The Act also sets out rules on collaboration between employers and employees, such as rules governing the activities of health and safety representatives.

How to protect yourself

Conducting a risk analysis and then using protective eyewear that corresponds to the requirements indicated by the analysis will increase safety significantly. In the event of an accident, it is important to have the right equipment, such as eyewash, and well-prepared procedures for managing an incident.

Other risk areas

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