You may think that eye injuries primarily happen in industrial settings around machines or chemicals. In reality, more than two thirds of eye injuries occur at home. Half of all eye injuries happen while people are cleaning, cooking, doing yard work or working in the garage; things we’ve all done a thousand times before without incident.
All it takes is one split-second accident to damage your eyesight for a lifetime. The following tips will help you to protect your eyes while working around the house.
Avoiding Household Hazards
- Read and follow instructions when using chemicals
- Be sure spray nozzles are aimed away from you
- Use grease shields on frying pans
- Turn your face away when uncorking soda or champagne bottles
- Teach children to handle knives, scissors, pencils and other sharp objects safely
- Keep harsh chemicals, spray cans and glues out of a child’s reach
It’s recommended that every household should have at least one pair of Canadian Safety Standards approved eyewear.
Almost 40 percent of home eye injuries happen when working in the yard or garden. Debris from lawn mowers or power trimmers can be thrown up and hit your eye at a high rate of speed. Follow these tips on how to protect your eyes while doing yard work:
- Always wear Canadian Safety Standards approved protective eyewear, such as goggles or other eye protection when working with lawnmowers, trimmers and other lawn equipment.
- Trim low-hanging, eye-level branches on the trees in your yard
- Remove rocks, stones and other large pieces of debris before mowing your lawn
- Wear goggles when working with power saws or trimmers
- Turn off power tools when bystanders approach. Bystanders and helpers need eye protection when they’re around tools that are in use.
- Protect your eyes from fertilizers, pesticides and other yard chemicals, including lime dust, by wearing safety goggles.
- Read all product instructions and follow them for proper use. Take note of warnings on yard chemicals and equipment.
- Maintain tools to ensure proper performance, just as you would in the workplace.
- Store paint, oil, fertilizer and other chemicals in a secure, ventilated area where they can’t be tipped over or accessed by the kids or family pets.
Household chemicals, including bleach or other cleaners, cause 125,000 eye injuries every year. It’s important to wear eye protection when using any chemical. After any job involving chemicals, make sure your hands are thoroughly washed before touching your eyes or face.
DIY home projects have become more popular over the years, but they can subject you to unfamiliar challenges, such as presented by rented tools or restricted workspaces.
Be sure to read and follow the safety guidelines that come with tools. A basic set of well-fitting safety eyewear will provide ample protection for many DIY projects, but consider the hazards specific to the job to see if goggles, face shields or even respiratory protection is required. High particulate projects, such as sanding and drywall, may require the latter. Keep single-use eyewash bottles on hand to safely flush dust and sand from your eyes.