Face Shields Increase Overall Protection

Workplace safety use face shields

Face Shields Provide Increase Overall Protection

Each year in the United States, thousands of workers are blinded in workplace accidents. In addition, thousands more suffer eye injuries. Many of those injuries, as much as 60 percent according to some studies, could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection equipment. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in medical expenses, lost production time and worker compensation. Good safety compliance management can help to reduce the risks.

It Is Not Just About The Eyes

Signs reminding workers that eye protection is required are commonly seen in many work environments. It is not unusual for us to see signs that require the use of safety glasses or goggles at all times on construction sites or in many manufacturing environments. That is a good start for safety compliance management, but there is more workplace safety than protecting the eyes. Chemical splashes, impact injuries from flying debris, heat injuries and optical radiation are just some of the potential hazards a worker may face. While protecting the eyes from these things is an important function, the eyes are not the only thing that needs protected. Debris can easily cause injuries to the face, teeth or ears and those injuries could be painful and expensive, even permanently disfiguring. Lengthy recoveries involving therapy, skin grafts or other surgeries could be avoided by adding a face shield to the worker’s personal protective equipment (PPE). Safety consulting companies can advise you on the PPE that your industry should be using.

Face Shields Are Another Layer Of Protection

Face shields are not intended to be a substitute for safety goggles or glasses. Shields are a secondary protection devices that help protect the whole face from various hazards. Flying objects or sparks striking the eye are the most common causes of eye injuries and those objects are often very small. They also present a hazard to the face and that is where the shield comes in. They provide wider coverage to protect the face, as well as a second layer of protection to the eyes. The shields can also protect the worker from chemical splashes or sprays. Specialized face shields can protect the wearer from optical radiation or sparks in welding, cutting or brazing operations.

What To Look For In A Face Shield

There are many types of face shields on the market. Good safety compliance management means more than just picking a shield based on price. The first thing to be considered is whether or not the shield complies with standards enumerated in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z89.1-1968, Practice for Occupational and Education Eye and Face Protection. Some shields are designed to be mounted to helmets, while others are made to be worn directly on the head, using adjustable headgear. Many shields are designed to be lifted, while others are fixed. Guidance from OSHA or safety consulting companies can help you decide if you need one that has a plastic screen window or one with a wire screen window. Depending on the use, you may need your shield to protect against radiant heat or ultraviolet light.

Optimum Safety Management can assist your company’s safety compliance management program. While some safety consulting companies offer a few services, we provide a full range of services ranging from training and inspections to comprehensive OSHA services. Contact us to see how we can help you protect your workers and help you stay in compliance with regulatory agencies.