Machine Shop Safety – Eye Hazards

Machine shops can present various hazards to the eyes due to the nature of the work and the machinery involved. Some common eye hazards in a machine shop include:

Flying debris: Machines such as grinders, lathes, and milling machines can generate flying metal chips, sparks, or abrasive particles during operation. These particles can easily enter the eyes and cause injuries.

Protruding stock: Long pieces of stock, such as filler wire, and bar stock may cause eye injury. Be sure the ends of protruding stock are covered adequately.

Chemical splashes: Machine shops often use various chemicals such as solvents, lubricants, and coolants. Accidental splashes or spills of these chemicals can occur, leading to eye irritation or chemical burns if they come into contact with the eyes.

Welding arcs: Welding operations produce intense ultraviolet (UV) light and sparks that can cause arc eye or welder’s flash if proper eye protection is not worn. Prolonged exposure to welding arcs without eye protection can result in serious eye damage.

To mitigate these hazards, it’s essential for workers in machine shops to wear appropriate eye protection such as safety glasses, goggles, or face shields designed to provide adequate protection against specific hazards present in their work environment. Additionally, implementing safety protocols, regular equipment maintenance, and proper training can help minimize the risk of eye injuries in machine shops.