Equip vocational students with the right safety eyewear.
Vocational or trade schools are an excellent post-secondary education option for students seeking specific, career-related training. At vocational schools, the emphasis is on practical education with a lot of hands-on experience. Therefore, for both the students and instructors, safety is a No. 1 component. Not only are inexperienced students at a higher risk for injury, but it's also vital for those graduating from trade schools to have a solid understanding of workplace safety when they enter their careers.
Many of the common programs demand optimum dexterity, which also necessitates proper eyesight. Between the flying of debris, close proximity to extreme heat and working with power tools, this environment requires that the student be equipped with the proper safety eyewear for each of the different skills he or she will learn. Instructors can better ensure the well-being of these budding professionals by providing them with the necessary safety eyewear.
"Students are arguably most susceptible to projectiles."
The hazards According to the American Optometric Association, manufacturing, carpentry, auto repair, electric work, plumbing, welding and construction are all high-risk jobs for eye injuries. Likewise, these careers represent popular vocational training programs.
Students are arguably most susceptible to projectiles while enrolled in trade schools. Projectiles are objects that fly through the air and can harm the eye through contact. They include glass, wood, plastic, stone and metal, among other materials commonly used in a vocational classroom. Exposure to extreme heat, a situation particularly apparent in welding programs, can also damage the eye.
Types of eyewear There are several different kinds of safety eyewear, and they serve different purposes and provide various levels of protection. For example, when working with chemicals, students may benefit from goggles that completely seal off the eye area. The enclosed space will prevent powders from blowing or liquids from splashing into the eyes.
Safety indoor glasses are essential for protecting against projectiles. Many have built-in side protection with a wrap-around design that will shield the eyes from debris in all directions. However, the fit can be problematic for those who wear glasses to improve vision. If the eyeglasses are sufficient for blocking debris from the front, consider having students use screw-on side shields that attach to the glasses' frames and protect the sides of the eyes.
Many people opt to wear contacts lenses, which will eliminate the fit problems associated with eyeglasses and safety eyewear. However, they can still pose a threat to eye health. Contact lenses are made of plastic polymers, which can melt when exposed to extreme heat. Welding glasses are made to specifically protect eyes from welding arc and flash, which may prevent contact lenses from melting. Regardless of whether students are wearing contact lenses, glasses or neither, they should always wear welding glasses or a face shield when learning this skill.
Eye first aid Though all students should be wearing safety eyewear, accidents happen. Whether the eyewear breaks while a student is working on a task, a piece of debris flies further than expected or a pupil simply forgoes the appropriate gear, situations can occur in which the instructor may need to handle eye emergencies. Professional medical attention should be called if a student's eye irritation does not go away, the speck could not be removed or there is visible redness or a scratch on the eye.
Ensure safety in your vocational school classroom by equipping students with the proper safety eyewear.