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6 Steps to Implementing an Eye & Face Protection Program


1.         Identification of risk areas / tasks

  • When the need for an eye protection program has been acknowledged the first step is to identify the risk and document the areas and tasks where the use of eye protectors is required.
  • Employees or their representatives should be included in the survey, as injury data can help identify the hazards and high risk areas or tasks.
  • Keep in mind that a process or task may give rise to a combination of hazards and the eye protectors may need to be worn in conjunction with other PPE i.e. eye and respiratory protection.

2.        Site survey

  • The survey needs to be documented and it is best to follows the “flow” of the processes on site.
  • If it is a manufacturing process, the survey should start at the point where the raw materials enter the process, and follow the process through the site.
  • It is important to use the same terminology in the site survey as that used in the workplace.

3.        Selection of styles

  • When elimination or control of the hazard are either not practical or have only reduced the risk, then PPE is required.
  • Agreement should be reached with all persons involved in the eye protection programon the type of protection needed and the requirements for wearing eye protectors.
  • In all work situations consideration should be given to the layout of work stations to minimise the risk of hazards coming from the side or rear.

4.        Don’t forget signage promotion and education

  • Before the use of eye protectors becomes mandatory, an education program should be implemented to ensure cooperation of the workforce.
  • The educational program should be tailored as much as possible to the requirements, environment and culture of the organisation, to counter any resistance to wearing eye protectors.
  • Warning signs should be used to indicate areas where eye protection, or a particular type of eye protector is required to be worn.
  • The use of eye protectors should be written into work procedures, site induction programs and policy documents.

5.        Plan for an emergency

  • Implement first aid procedures for eye injuries. Have eye wash stations that are easily accessible, especially where chemicals are used. Train employees in basic first aid.

6.        Support / Review / Document

  • Management support is key to having a successful eye safety program
  • Regularly review and update your accident prevention policies. Your goal should be no eye and face injuries or accidents
  • Once your safety program is created, document and display it in the workplace and employee gathering areas.