Contractor Safety Share

Sharing safety information

If my eye doesn’t hurt, am I OK?

If my eye doesn’t hurt, am I OK?


An apprentice was delivering material to his colleagues inside the building from their outside lay down area when a gust of wind blew dust and/or debris into the employee’s eye.  The apprentice thought the irritation was minor as his discomfort diminished, so he carried on with his task without reporting the incident to his foreman.  Later that evening when the employee was at home, the eye became irritated.  The apprentice wears contact lenses so he took them out and flushed his eye with a saline solution.  The following morning, his eye was extremely red and irritated so he reported the incident to his foreman.  The apprentice was prescribed antibiotic eye drops to prevent the spread of any further infection even though a foreign body or scratch was not present in the eye.

Factors to consider at your site and/or project include, but not limited to the following:

  1. Always report an injury, no matter how minor you believe it may be, and seek medical treatment immediately following the incident to prevent any further injury.
  2. If a foreign object enters your eye, immediately flush the eye and seek medical treatment to prevent the foreign object from becoming embedded into the eye and help minimize the potential for infection.
  3. When working in areas where debris/particles can become airborne, wear a type of cover-all goggles or face shield as a preventative means for debris entering the eye around one’s safety glasses.  Spoggle type of safety glasses may also be utilized to provide an effective means of protecting your eyes from airborne particles. 
  4. Use caution when removing cover-all goggles and/or a face shield because debris can sit on the top ledge allowing the debris to enter the eye after the task is complete.  
  5. When performing work in dusty conditions or areas where chemicals are present, it is recommended to not wear contact lenses because the debris may get trapped between the contact lense and eye creating further damage to the eye.
Consider this example as you complete today’s work activities.

Safety Flash Action Items:
  • Date Contractor Safety Flash posted for all employees to review: _______________
  • Safety Talk meeting date: _______________
  • Full employee attendance and participation at safety meeting to review this incident (documentation required).
  • Employees understand urgency in protecting themselves and others.
  • Supervisors and Employees are clear which items shared in this Safety Flash are mandatory.
  • Employees/Supervisors will focus on recommended actions during future work activities of a similar nature.
Contract Firm Management Rep Signature____________________
Date____________

Think about the hazards associated with your particular work, and the steps that can be taken to increase safety on your job.

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