ICW Group mySafetyNews.com
Printed from www.mysafetynews.com - Your Risk Management Resource

Risk management blog

The Mystery of the Phantom Eye Hazards

- June 27, 2014 by John Virsack, ARM (View all posts by John)

I recently met with a client who is the owner of an iron foundry and he spent some time expressing his frustration regarding some recent injuries in his shop.  There had been several “foreign body in eye” claims, and he was perplexed as to what he could do about this.  He had an eye protection program, and he provided and enforced the use of eye protection in the shop.  He had even added face shields over the safety glasses, yet he still was having claims.

Upon further evaluation, I learned that the eye injuries were more prevalent in the summer than in the winter.  I suggested that we get the employees in the grinding room together for a quick meeting to discuss what was occurring.  What became apparent from the discussion was that, although the employees were wearing their safety glasses, in the heat of summer, sweat was getting in their eyes.  Employees were wiping the sweat off their face with their hands and getting dust or grime in their eyes. Once we had solved the mystery of how the injuries were occurring, we were able to take steps to prevent them.  The owner simply added moist wipes and paper towels in the shop area for employees to use to wipe away their sweat.

Eye protection is not merely a matter of using safety glasses or goggles when specified on certain jobs. The exercise of good judgment, and sometimes a little detective work, is also important in how an employee uses eye protection on the job.

Have you had a phantom eye injury challenge?  Write back and tell us how you handled it.