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Carry Over Your Safe Work Eye Habits at Home

Posted on January 26th, 2017

Heavy duty labour doesn’t only take place at work, where safety procedures and first aid stations are located conveniently nearby. While workplace eye injuries are remarkably common (every day 700 Canadian workers are injured while on the clock), the same care for eye safety on the job site should carry over to your home. In fact, more than two thirds of eye injuries occur outside of a work setting.

Any type of backyard construction project, car maintenance, or home renovation requires proper eye protection. Chemicals or foreign objects in the eye, and cuts or scrapes on the cornea are common eye injuries that can occur both at work and at home. Other frequent afflictions are caused by splashes of grease and oil, burns from steam, or flying wood or metal chips. Injuries of this type can also result when wearing the wrong kind of protection for the job — which may be the case at home while working on projects of a smaller scale.
 

How can I protect my eyes from injury at home?

Before beginning a home project, recognize the dangers in your workspace, eliminate hazards, keep your safety eyewear in good condition, and replace it when it becomes damaged. The type of safety eye protection you should wear depends on the setting you will be working in:

 

  • If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects, or dust, you should at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields).
  • If you are working with chemicals, you should always wear goggles.
  • If you are working near hazardous radiation (welding) you should use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task.

 

In addition to always wearing sunglasses, protective goggles, or other eyewear, follow the tips below to help protect your eyes from common home hazards.

 

  • Read and follow instructions when using chemicals. Have all required material safety data sheets (MSDS) on hand
  • Point spray nozzles away from you
  • Use grease shields on frying pans
  • Turn your face away when uncorking soda or champagne style bottles (and watch where you are pointing it, too)
  • Pick up rocks and stones before mowing the lawn
  • Trim low-hanging branches on trees in your yard
  • Teach children how to safely handle knives, scissors, and pencils
  • Keep harsh chemicals, spray cans, and glue out of reach of children

 

What should be done in an eye emergency?

Seek medical attention as soon as possible following any injury. Because every type of eye injury has a different first aid protocol—leave it to medical professionals to assess and respond to your situation.

In general, if you have pain in the eye, blurred vision, or loss of any sight, avoid rubbing. If there is concern that a chemical has entered your eye, flush with water per first aid protocol—ensuring you do so away from the uninjured eye in order to prevent spread.

 

Your local FYidoctors can advise you on proper eye protection that can be worn while working on heavy duty jobs around the house, as well as provide guidance on and first aid protocol in order to be prepared in the event of an emergency.