Monthly Archives: April 2019

Why Wear Protective Eyewear

(Updated July 2020)

Our eyes are perhaps our most important sensory organ. So, it makes sense to take care of them at work with glasses.

Eye Safety Facts That Every Employer Needs to Know

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that around 2,000 workers suffer job-related eye injuries every day in the U.S. Many of these injuries are serious enough to require medical treatment.

Poor eye protection safety also has a major economic impact. Each year, eye injuries result in more than $300 million in medical costs, workers compensation claims, and lost time on the job. Plus, most on-the-job eye injuries occur due to the fact that workers weren’t wearing goggles or glasses or were wearing inadequate eye protection for the job.

Many eye injuries are minor, but even these injuries can result in long-term vision problems. Some minor eye injuries can escalate and cause long-lasting damage, and the most serious eye injuries can blind a worker.

Although eye injuries are problematic, they may be preventable. In fact, OSHA estimates that up to 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by wearing proper safety eyewear.

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How and Why Do Eye Injuries Occur?

Most job-related eye injuries occur when small objects land in the eye. These include things like dust, wood chips, and metal slivers.

Other causes of eye injuries include:

– Nails, staples, or metal scraps that pierce the eyeball

– Blunt force trauma from falling objects

– Workers running into an object face first

– Splashes from chemicals or cleaning products

– Thermal or radiation burns that occur while welding

– Spending extended periods of time working at a computer

OSHA requires workers to wear eye and face personal protective equipment (PPE) under two conditions. One is when eye safety hazards exist on a jobsite. The other is when it is likely that wearing eye safety PPE could prevent an injury.

Common Eye Protection Safety Hazards That Require PPE

The following eye protection safety hazards are present in a wide range of work environments:

– Projectiles, including dust, metal, and wood

– Chemicals in liquid or gas form

– Radiation, especially UV, infrared, and lasers

– Harmful pathogens from blood and body fluids

Workers may require eye safety glasses or other PPE to safely complete tasks in settings where one or more of the aforementioned hazards are present.

Are Eye Safety Glasses or Other PPE Necessary for All Workers, at All Worksites?

The PPE to be worn depends on the type of hazards present in a work environment.

Some worksites include more than one eye hazard, and proper eye safety protection must account for all on-the-job hazards.

Workers in some industries have a higher risk for eye injuries than others. These industries include:

– Construction

– Manufacturing

– Mining

– Welding

– Carpentry

– Electrical work

– Auto repair

– Plumbing

– Maintenance

Employers in any of these industries must provide their workers with the proper eye protection. That way, these employers can help their workers see clearly and limit the risk of eye injuries at work.

Does Your Business Need an Eye Safety Program?

Eye safety should be an integral part of every company safety program. Your workplace safety manual should cover all OSHA eye protection guidelines and contain guidance on:

– When to wear eye protection

– What type of eye PPE to wear (based on the job)

– How and where workers can get the PPE eyewear they need

– Consequences of eye safety violations

To select the right eye safety PPE for each job, list all potential eye hazards. Then, look at how workers are exposed to these hazards. Take into account the personal vision needs of each worker. Also, consider whether other types of PPE are used.

PPE eyewear needs to fit snugly but comfortably. If not, it should be adjustable, so it can provide full eye protection. Eye PPE also should not disrupt employees’ peripheral vision.

Different Types of Eye Safety PPE

Eye safety PPE ranges from basic safety glasses to special protection devices for high-risk jobs. Common eye PPE includes:

1. Eye Safety Glasses

Eye safety glasses resemble reading glasses, but they have a stronger frame and lenses. Safety glasses are well-suited for jobs where dust, debris, and other flying particles are present. Side shields and wraparound safety glasses can provide extra protection.

2. Safety Goggles

Safety goggles protect against impact, dust, and chemical splashes. They feature a secure shield around the entire eye that protects against hazards coming from all directions. Goggles can be worn over contact lenses and regular glasses.

3. Face Shields and Helmets

Face shields and helmets are designed for high-risk jobs in which employees may be exposed to chemicals, heat, or bloodborne pathogens. Some helmets are made exclusively for welding or working with other molten materials. Protective eyewear should always be worn underneath shields and helmets. This helps protect the eyes when the shield is lifted or the helmet removed.

4. Special Protection

Some helmets or goggles have special filters to protect against radiation exposure. These are used for welding or working with lasers. Safety glasses should be worn underneath for full protection.

Other eye safety equipment includes machine guards, screened or divided workstations, and other engineering controls. To determine which eye safety equipment best suits your business, you should evaluate OSHA guidelines. You can also enroll your workers in a safety training program to teach them how to correctly wear eye PPE.

How to Get Workers to Buy Into Eye Safety

Many workers don’t like wearing protective eye gear. Some say eye PPE is uncomfortable, while others feel it interferes with their vision. Still, others think it looks “uncool” to wear eye protection.

Providing workers with comfortable and stylish eye safety PPE will increase adoption rates across your workforce. At the same time, it will help lower the risk of eye injuries.

Eye safety PPE must be comfy enough to wear for an entire shift, even in hot weather. Features that enhance comfort include:

– Cushioned brows

– Soft gel nosepieces

– Padded nose bridges

– Vented frames

– Flexible temples

– Lenses that can be adjusted to different angles

Workers may also like anti-fogging features and lenses surrounded by foam. These features improve comfort and provide extra protection against foreign particles.

Workers are more likely to wear stylish eye safety glasses, too. Features such as bright colors, wraparound designs, and mirrored lenses enable workers to personalize their eye safety glasses.

When it comes to eye protection, style and comfort are important, but they are secondary to safety. For instance, eye protection features like lenses that can resist impact and protect against UVA and UVB rays can make a world of difference for employees.

Furthermore, eye goggles and glasses made with tempered glass or acrylic plastic lenses should not be used in high-impact situations. Also, these types of eye protection should not be used in areas where there is significant debris. In high-impact work areas, polycarbonate lenses that resist scratching are the best choice.

Promote Eye Protection at Your Worksite

Eye safety is a team effort, and employers are responsible for:

– Complying with all OSHA eye safety standards

– Conducting a workplace eye hazard assessment

– Removing or reducing eye hazards where possible

– Providing the right safety eyewear and making sure workers wear it

Meanwhile, workers are responsible for:

– Knowing the eye hazards associated with their jobs

– Wearing proper eye safety PPE to protect against on-the-job hazards

– Keeping their safety eyewear in good condition

– Replacing defective eyewear

Both employers and workers need to know what to do when an eye injury occurs. This starts with seeking medical attention as soon as possible — especially if there is pain in the eye or blurred vision. Apply basic first aid until medical help arrives or the victim is taken to an emergency room.

For chemicals in the eye, flush with water for at least 15 minutes; for employees who wear contact lenses, their lenses should be removed before flushing. Don’t attempt to neutralize the chemical with other substances, and don’t bandage the eye.

For particles in the eye, don’t rub it. Instead, see if tears can wash away any particles in the eye. If not, apply an over-the-counter tear solution. Gently lift the upper eyelid out and down over the lower eyelid to remove any particles. If particles remain, keep the eye closed and bandage it. Then, get medical help as soon as possible.

For blows to the eye, apply a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling. For cuts or punctures to the eye, do not rinse it. Also, don’t try to remove an object stuck in the eye. Instead, cover the eye with a rigid shield. Next, seek medical care.

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Choose CertifyMeOnline.net for Workplace Safety Training

Eye safety is merely one element to consider to create a safe, productive, and efficient work environment for all employees. For instance, your business employs workers who use aerial lifts, you may require aerial lift safety training.

CertifyMeOnline.net is a leading provider of affordable aerial lift safety training for workers of all skill levels. We make it quick and easy for workers to learn the ins and outs of safely operating boom lifts, scissor lifts, and other types of aerial lifts. To find out more about our aerial lift safety training program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

In Case of Emergency: Smart, Safety-First Warehouse Management Techniques for Crisis Situations

Is your warehouse prepared for an emergency situation?

If not, you’re tempting fate. Should disaster strike, a bad situation could quickly become 100 times worse without a warehouse emergency response plan.

Having an emergency plan in place for anything that comes your way isn’t just a smart, sound safety practice – it’s literally the difference between injuries and serious injuries, or life and death!

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines, precautions, and instructions in regards to workplace emergencies and evacuations. Their e-book, How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations, remains one of the most widely referenced and cited publications for warehouse preparedness.

In addition to OSHA rules and regulations, training is essential to being prepared in the event of an emergency at the workplace, particularly warehouses. That’s where CertifyMeOnline.net helps – we’re the preferred training partner for aerial lifts and scissor lifts all across the United States.

With so much cargo, equipment, and employees to account for, having a plan in place allows everyone from site supervisors to scissor lift operators to act with purpose during emergencies. Proper training lessens chaos and confusion, which are considered “fuel to the fire” during crisis events.

If your company doesn’t have a clear set of defined emergency plans, the time to acquire them is yesterday. The safety experts here at CertifyMeOnline.net put together this resource in order to promote awareness for preparedness. In conjunction with our aerial work platform (AWP) training programs, we recommend having an emergency preparedness plan for your workplace.

What is a Workplace Emergency?

Before you can create a plan, you should be able to answer the question, “What is a workplace emergency?” For a business, the definition should be based on how OSHA defines a workplace emergency, which is any situation, that causes a threat to the workers, customers or others. An emergency in a workplace may shut down operations or cause disruptions to the normal day and result in physical damage or environmental issues.

When creating a definition for “What is a workplace emergency?” recognize that it can be natural or manmade. Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and severe winter weather are all examples of natural emergencies. Man-made emergencies may include chemical spills, explosions, and other hazards. Many of these emergencies cannot be predicted, but they can be planned for in how to respond when one does occur.

What is an Emergency Action Plan?

Employers need to have an emergency action plan in place for workplace emergencies. This plan is designed to organize actions of the employer and workers during an emergency. The plan works with training to ensure workers know their roles in such a situation. When the plan is well-designed, it results in fewer injuries and reduced damage. If the plan is either poorly designed or poorly executed, the emergency response is likely to be disorganized, causing more injuries and damage.

OSHA outlines which employers are required to have a written emergency response plan. However, it can be beneficial for any company to create one even if it isn’t required. Such a plan protects workers and provides peace of mind, knowing that everyone is prepared to act if an emergency should occur. How detailed it will be depends on what emergencies can be identified for the company. By creating an in-depth plan, it shows that you have a safety-first warehouse.

Warehouse Preparedness: Crisis Management 101

OSHA Publication 3088 is the definitive guide for warehouse emergency preparedness. With so many situations to account for, it can be difficult to strike a balance for your plan that’s:

– Detailed enough to explain tactics and emergency response actions for specific situations

– General enough to give your employees clear purpose and direction, regardless of the emergency at hand

What’s more, emergency scenarios continue to evolve and develop. Sure, emergency plans should always include events like tornadoes and floods. But did anyone think workplace shootings and other related violence would be such a relatively common problem?

To develop warehouse preparedness plans, you have to think ahead of the curve. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your own emergency plans:

Categorize your warehouse emergency plans

For example, you can use severe weather, fire, workplace violence, and medical emergencies to streamline how your warehouse personnel deals with each situation. As stated earlier, you don’t want details and micro-management to derail your safety program. Stick with 4-8 sub-categories and go from there!

When in doubt, err on the side of OSHA

The blueprint for warehouse emergency plans already exists. Feel free to reference OSHA’s How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations for tips & tricks on getting safety/emergency plans that fit your particular warehouse. Every workplace is different, but OSHA’s guidelines apply everywhere.

Do the bare minimum

Your warehouse emergency plans should be comprehensive enough to provide detailed instructions, while also providing base guidelines for everyone involved. Per OSHA, every warehouse emergency policy should include:

– Specific methods for reporting fires, natural disasters and other emergencies.

– Clear, easy to understand evacuation routes and means of egress

– Warehouse floor plans at all occupied areas of your building

– Phone numbers and contact information for site safety coordinators and other individuals responsible for emergency warehouse response

– Well-defined rescue and medical response instructions and directives

– Assembly points for employees to report to in the event of an emergency

– Regular training for all warehouse employees on emergency response techniques

“Drill” down your emergency response policy

Smart, sound safety practices during emergencies doesn’t happen by accident. Only by going through safety drills and other emergency response simulations will your company embrace – and promote – the best possible outcomes. Schedule regularly scheduled and random emergency response drills, and make sure to log the results. Always compare this data to see if your warehouse emergency plans and warehouse preparedness plan is regressing. If so, address the deficiencies to improve your safety plan. You never know when a real emergency will happen; in the meantime, it’s always best to implement safety drills to optimize warehouse safety.

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Along with Emergency Plans, Aerial Lift & Scissor Lift Training is a Safety Essential!

CertifyMeOnline.net offers OSHA compliant training courses for all of your aerial lift, scissor lift, and AWP employees. Aside from unexpected emergencies, workplace accidents are the biggest threat to safety. And the lack of training is usually to blame.

It’s illegal for your company to use aerial lift or scissor lift workers who lack the proper OSHA equipment operating credentials. CertifyMeOnline.net is a trusted training source for your complete AWP training and compliance needs. With an affordable, online accessible selection of training courses, we’ll get your workers trained and compliant in less time – and for much less cost – than you think.

Our OSHA approved training courses are, indirectly, your own set of emergency plans. That’s because aerial lift and scissor lift accident emergencies are prevented with comprehensive training. Give your employees the training they deserve – and the extra peace of mind for your management team – with our aerial lift and scissor lift training today.

Register your company with CertifyMeOnline.net, and see how our OSHA compliant instruction benefits your overall safety plan. It’s the best investment in safety for today, and the future. Thanks for considering CertifyMeOnline.net for your complete aerial lift and scissor lift training requirements!