Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Horse Sense Safety

Eye and Face Protection

OSHA Standard 1926.102

Employees SHALL be provided with eye and face protection equipment when machines or operations present potential eye or face injury from physical, chemical or radiation agents. Protection equipment REQUIRED by this Part SHALL meet the requirements specified in ANSI, Z87.1.

Protection equipment SHALL be kept clean and in good repair. The use of this type equipment with structural or optical defects SHALL be PROHIBITED.

The above notes are excerpts of “Official” Requirements for protecting eyes and face from injuries or blindness. Though not the complete part of this standard, I wish to draw attention to the use of eye glasses and goggles in particular.

The Horse Sense way, falls right in line with the Standards in the safe performance of the workers’ duties and is completely opposite to the “Donkey” way. Some workers that I’ve seen will come on the job site with a pair of sunglasses off the drug store rack that look “COOL.” But they do not meet the ANSI Standards. These drugstore glasses do not protect the person’s eyes in the event of a foreign item flying into the glasses.

I’ve known of so many totally irrational statements made by workers that have received eye injuries that they “Thought” their glasses met required standards. Then, when checking reports of Safety Meetings, each one has signed off on a Safety Meeting Report that they have been instructed on the use and proper type of glasses to be worn on the site, then fail to use the correct type.

One of the most abused standards is the use of “Sunglasses” off the discount store or drugstore racks that do not have properly tinted lenses, and are eyeglass type, not goggle type glasses. Then, they start to do acetylene burning or welding operations. The eyeglass type do not protect the eyes or face from hot slag from flying behind the glasses into the workers eye or face. Also, these sunglasses do not have the proper fit, protection, durability, or the radiant energy protection required to meet the Standards.

Several times when holding safety meetings, I speak to the workers on the jobsite about the proper type glasses for different operations they are involved in. Then, I ask each person to close their eyes tightly and keep them closed until I told them to open them. Then I’d ask them several questions such as: What color shirt do I have on? What is the color or their jacket? What is the color of their spouses or children’s eyes? Of course, this will usually get them to thinking about the Horse Sense Way of protecting their eyes.

Think the Safe Way, protect eyes and face the Safe Way, use Horse Sense in performing your work safely.

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