Eye Protection


The following script can be used to deliver a 10- to 15-minute training session to employees. You may wish to have safety glasses, goggles, face shield, welding helmet, etc. on hand to demonstrate various types of eye protection.

The text emphasizes important points related to eye protection. It is suggested that you try to stay strictly on topic. Obviously, you will need to be prepared to answer questions.

  • Many farming activities carry the risk of eye damage.
  • Always wear eye protection that is appropriate to the task at hand.
  • Never take your eyesight for granted.

Eyes are irreplaceable

Try to imagine your life without ,sight. Close your eyes, and try walking 50 feet down the lane. Then consider how your life would be changed if you lost this most precious of senses.

The eyes are very sensitive. They need to be protected against impact, chemicals, dust, chaff, and numerous other farm workplace hazards.

Always wear eye protection when spray painting, grinding, drilling, welding, sawing, working in a dusty environment, or handling chemicals. Develop the habit of putting on safety glasses or goggles whenever you work with hand or power tools.

Several types of eye protection devices are available:

Safety glasses

Standard eyeglasses and sunglasses provide frontal protection only. If you wear glasses, make sure they have impact resistant lenses. Safety glasses have heavier lenses that can withstand more shock than ordinary lenses.


Plastic goggles protect the eyes against front and side impact. Unvented or chemical splash goggles also offer protection against chemical vapours and liquids.

Always wear goggles when striking hardened metal tools and hardened metal surfaces. This will protect the eyes against flying metal chips.

Face Shields

Face shields protect the face against splashing, dust, and chaff. However, standard designs offer very little protection against impact.

If impact protection is needed, wear safety glasses or goggles under the face shield. Special impact-resistant shields are also available.

Special protection needed when welding

The brilliance of a welding arc can permanently damage the naked eye.

Always wear a helmet when arc welding.
The eyes, face, and neck need protection against the burning rays of the arc, and from the splatter of molten metal and slag. To protect vision, make sure the welding helmet has a coloured lens with at least a No. 10 shade when welding with 200 amperes or less. (Darker shades are needed when using higher currents. Consult your welder's instruction manual.)

Never strike a welding arc before your helmet is in place. Never look at an arc from any distance with naked eyes while someone else is welding.

Chipping slag

Chipping slag Never chip slag when your eyes (or those of others nearby) are not protected by goggles, an eyeshield, or the clear lens of a welding helmet. If fragments of hot slag were to hit the eye, medical attention would be required for their removal, and blindness could result. The risk of permanent eye injury is so great that you should never chip slag from a weld without protecting your eyes.

Oxyacetylene welders

Don't weld or use the cutting attachment unless you are wearing goggles. The lenses should be a No.5 or 6 grade for welding and cutting, and a No.3 or 4 shade for brazing.

Sun protection also important

In addition to increasing risk of skin cancer, prolonged exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can be damaging to the eyes. Always wear sunglasses to protect you eyes while working outdoors.

Don't take your eyesight for granted!

Loss or impairment of vision would severely restrict job opportunities. It would also greatly reduce your general enjoyment of life.

Don't take chances with your eyesight! Put those safety glasses on, even if you '1ust have to drill one hole."

Are there any questions?

Finally, let's take a moment to review some of the "Do's" and "Don'ts" of eye protection.


Wear eye protection of there is the slightest chance of injury.

Determine whether or not impact resistant eye protection is needed

Always wear goggles when striking hardened tools and metal surfaces.

Strike an arc before your helmet is in

Work in a dusty environment without eye protection.

Work outdoors for extended periods without sunglasses.

The information and recommendations contained in this publication are believed to be reliable and representative of contemporary expert opinion on the subject material. The farm safety Association Inc. does not guarantee absolute accuracy or sufficiency of subject material, nor can it accept responsibility for health and safety recommendations that may have been omitted due to particular and exceptional conditions and circumstances.

Copyright @ 2000 Farm Safety Association Inc.
22-340 Woodlawn Road West, Guelph, Ontario NIH 7K6 (519) 823-5600

Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More