As a health and safety professional, you’re not just an administrator or an advisor, you’re an advocate.
Are you passionate about health and safety in the workplace? If you’re occupational health and safety professional—or if you’ve been given responsibility for that within your company—you spend a lot of time thinking about how to keep your workers well. That’s a great thing. We do too. And, there are times when we have to think about safety on a worker’s behalf.
Is that because they don’t care? Not at all. They’re busy doing their jobs and working hard to succeed. Obviously, health and safety is important but it can be complicated. In the modern work environment, especially with respect to eye safety, there are more potential hazards than ever: Common hazards like dust, dirt and flying particles; industrial, chemical and biological splashes and splatters; and less common hazards like harmful light, heat, and radiation. The work environment is continually changing.
So, it’s easy to understand if workers have a hard time keeping up with both the potential hazards of the workplace and the solutions needed to address them. In many cases, they may not believe protection is needed or maybe wearing the wrong kind of protection for the job. Both are dangerous.
We’re here to help. To share both our workplace eye safety program, and the knowledge we have been a part of eye safety in British Columbia for over 50 years.
As an advocate for eye safety in your organization there a number of things, you can do to help your employees see the benefits of eye safety and enjoy proper protection. We’re sure you’re doing many of them right now. But, we thought we’d share some considerations and practices that our Doctors of Optometry recommend—and that many of our clients already use—to improve their eye health and safety capability.
WORKPLACE EYE SAFETY CHECKLIST
EVALUATE THE WORKPLACE
Has a proper assessment and inspection been done of your work environment and all job sites. Have you been able to review injury and accident reports? Identify primary and secondary hazards?
CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
Have you been able to minimize the identified hazards? Ensure tools and equipment are operating properly and people are well-trained in equipment operation. Have you been able to address any relevant operational issues? And are your safety features in place?
APPLY PROPER STANDARDS AND PRACTICES
Do your people understand and apply the proper industry standards? Do you meet the requirements of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as legislated by Occupational Health and Safety?
Do your workers have access to the right eye protection for the person, the job and the working conditions? Do they have the right product—frames, lenses, lens coatings or accessories? Is the product comfortable and does it fit properly?
PROVIDE ACCESS TO VISION CARE
Do you encourage your workers to visit a Doctor of Optometry who can administer proper comprehensive eye exams and testing—and help select the right eyewear? Eye health exams can actually detect and help diagnose a range of health issues and risks.
EDUCATE YOUR WORKERS
Do you have a training or ongoing educational program to help alert employees to potential eye health hazards and how to protect against them? Do they participate in a program that is 100% mandatory across the organization?
Do you communicate to employees and/or the overall company on an ongoing basis? Do you have various information and internal communication vehicles in place: information displays, newsletters, brochures, email, social media or events?
Do you have emergency planning in place and first-aid procedures for eye injuries?
At EyesafeBC, our experts support you in your mission to bring health and safety to your workplace. And, for us, the strongest advocate is a Doctor of Optometry. We have over 400 in our program offering excellent vision care to workers throughout British Columbia.