Spring Cleaning Vision Hazards

smiling man wearing safety glasses and earwear using an electric saw

As Spring approaches, many homeowners take advantage of the warmer weather to start cleaning their homes and take on DIY projects. It’s also a great time for EHS (Environmental Health & Safety) managers to review their own cleaning supplies and reassess the hazards of their work environment. Whether you’re cleaning out the gutters at home or doing a deep clean of the office, it is essential to keep your eyes safe and protected from any harmful chemicals or particles. Here are a few safety measures you can take to prevent harming your vision.

Review The Labels & Safety Data Sheets for Cleaners

The harsh chemicals found in traditional cleaners can cause eye irritation or injury by releasing airborne particles or creating toxic fumes. Aerosol can be particularly hazardous and so can most chemicals when working in an area that is not well ventilated. When using a cleaning solution, always follow the directions on the container to avoid injury. For EHS managers, many industrial cleaning supplies may be in reusable containers which may have the instructions worn off due to regular use. This is just an example of why it’s important to ensure copies of the SDS (Safety Data Sheets) for each cleaner are readily available.

Formerly referred to as an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), the SDS lists the information pertaining to the occupational health and safety of the substances and products. When possible, consider switching to “green” alternative cleaners which contain less harmful chemicals that are better for the planet and your eyes.

Limit Exposure to Toxic Chemical In Cleaners

If you cannot eliminate all of your cleaning solutions that contain harsh chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia, it is essential that you wear protective eyewear while at home or at work.

For any pair of safety eyewear, there are ANSI Z87.1 requirements for minimum eye coverage, both vertical and lateral, marked with “Z87” on the frame. Generally speaking, this minimum coverage means almost any ANSI-rated safety eyewear will be far better at protecting your eyes than your standard prescription eyewear. If you’re specifically needing prescription safety eyewear, SafeVision has a wide assortment of options including “sealed” eyewear for you to choose from. With regards to chemicals, our most protective option would be our GT20 goggles.

Per ANSI Z87.1 standards our GT20 goggles have passed stringent testing guidelines in order for them to be rated for the following:

D3 – splash/droplet

D4 – Dust

D5 – Fine Dust

They can be ordered with a removable prescription lens insert and feature a high-impact rated polycarbonate shield that’s been coated with a scratch-resistant exterior treatment and an anti-fog interior treatment. Protecting your eyes is the first step to keeping your vision safe.

Always Wear Eye Protection

In addition to using cleaners, wearing safety eyewear during other spring cleaning tasks is still important. Whether you are cleaning at home or simply pulling boxes at your job site, always wear safety eyewear to protect your vision. These are especially important in environments where flying particles, chemical splashes, and even dust are present.

Putting a pair of safety eyewear on first before you start any of your spring cleanings is the best and easiest way to keep your eyes protected. At SafeVision we specialize in Prescription Safety Eyewear and offer a wide assortment of frames that cater to specific tasks as well as advanced lens designs and treatments. If you don’t have a pair of prescription safety eyewear, visit our website and shop online from our selection of prescription and non-prescription options.

Eliminate Hazards Before Working with Chemicals

Before cleaning, look at your surroundings and remove any potential hazards. Many eye injuries occur while cleaning from a lack of foresight. Take the time to do a little pre-cleaning to eliminate dust or particles in the air with a handheld attachment. Or remove objects that could fall and hurt you. If you are ever in a position for harm, make sure you have a pair of safety eyewear from SafeVision on. Per ANSI Z87.1 standards ALL of our prescription safety eyewear is rated for high mass/velocity impact resistance.

When shopping, specifically look for the marking Z87+. The plus symbol indicates eyewear rated for high mass/velocity impact resistance, meaning if anything falls and hits your safety eyewear, your eyes will be protected.

Eliminating hazards is also a very important step to prevent injuries from occurring if you are outdoors. Tasks such as mowing the lawn can turn debris into projectiles, so be sure you pick up all sticks and twigs or anything you wouldn’t want to shoot out at you. This is the best choice for your eyes and the rest of your body.

Properly Ventilate Your Home or Workplace

In many cases, airborne particles are the reason for eye irritants when cleaning. Check that your home and worksite have proper ventilation while you work to reduce the risk of eye irritation. Open doors or windows if needed and turn on fans to keep the air circulating properly. Ventilating can help with pollen, dust, cleaning solvents, and other particles in the air.

Keep Your Hands Clean

While working with cleaning solutions, getting them on your skin or hands is expected if you aren’t wearing gloves. While it might not be harmful to your skin, it is still harmful to your eyes if your fingers touch your eyes. When you wipe your brow from sweat, touch your face, or rub your eyes, you could expose your eyes to these harmful chemicals. That is why it is essential that you are always washing your hands after using cleaning products, no matter what kind they are.

Consult A Doctor To Limit Harm

If you ever are in a situation where harsh chemicals or particles are in your eyes and simply washing it out isn’t an option, consult a doctor immediately. To avoid this happening, be sure you are wearing the proper safety eyewear for the task at hand. Keep your eyes safe and happy spring cleaning!

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