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Ghs chemical eye injuries at work

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Ghs chemical eye injuries at work

  1. 1. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  2. 2. What Picture Would you Rather See? P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  3. 3. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  4. 4. Chemical Chemical injuries of the eye are true emergencies requiring prompt recognition and treatment. Rapid dilution of the chemical agent is the immediate treatment necessary to reduce tissue damage and preserve vision. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  5. 5. Eye Injury • Chemical exposure to any part of the eye or eyelid may result in a chemical eye burn. Chemical burns represent 7-10% of eye injuries. About 15-20% of burns to the face involve at least one eye. Although many burns result in only minor discomfort, every chemical exposure or burn should be taken seriously. Permanent damage is possible and can be blinding and life-altering. • The severity of a burn depends on what substance caused it, how long the substance had contact with the eye, and how the injury is treated. Damage is usually limited to the front segment of the eye, including the cornea, (the clear front surface of the eye responsible for good vision, which is most frequently affected), the conjunctiva (the layer covering the white part of the eye), and occasionally the internal eye structures of the eye, including the lens. Burns that penetrate deeper than the cornea are the most severe, often causing cataracts and glaucoma P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  6. 6. • Chemical burns to the eye can be divided into three categories: alkali burns, acid burns, and irritants. • The acidity or alkalinity, called the pH, of a substance is measured on a scale from 1-14, with 7 indicating a neutral substance. Substances with pH values less than 7 are acids, while numbers higher than 7 are alkaline; the higher or lower the number, the more acidic or basic a substance is and the more damage it can cause. • Alkali burns are the most dangerous. Alkalis-chemicals that have a high pH-penetrate the surface of the eye and can cause severe injury to both the external structures like the cornea and the internal structures like the lens. In general, more damage occurs with higher pH chemicals. – Common alkali substances contain the hydroxides of ammonia, lye, potassium hydroxide,, magnesium, and lime. – Substances you may have at home that contain these chemicals include fertilizers, cleaning products (ammonia), drain cleaners (lye), oven cleaners, and plaster or cement (lime). P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  7. 7. • Acid burns result from chemicals with a low pH and are usually less severe than alkali burns because they do not penetrate into the eye as readily as alkaline substances. The exception is a hydrofluoric acid burn, which is as dangerous as an alkali burn. Acids usually damage only the very front of the eye; however, they can cause serious damage to the cornea and also may result in blindness. – Common acids causing eye burns include sulfuric acid, sulfurous acid, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, acetic acid, chromic acid, and hydrofluoric acid. – Substances you have at home that may contain these chemicals include glass polish (hydrofluoric acid), vinegar, or nail polish remover (acetic acid). An automobile battery can explode and cause a sulfuric acid burn. This is one of the most common acidic burns of the eye. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  8. 8. • Irritants are substances that have a neutral pH and tend to cause more discomfort to the eye than actual damage. – Most household detergents fall into this category. – Pepper spray is also an irritant. It can cause significant pain but usually does not affect vision and rarely causes any damage to the eye. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  9. 9. Other factors must be considered when treating patients with injuries caused by chemical warfare agents. Ocular chemical injuries can cause immediate loss of vision, combat ineffectiveness, and even permanent blindness. Some effects are more subtle: the mere threat of chemical agents on the battlefield reduces unit morale and efficiency. Medical personnel who discern that injuries might be the result of chemical agents P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  10. 10. One of the most frequent work-related injuries is damage to the eye or eyes from materials that a worker is using. Often, in the case of construction and landscape workers, debris from equipment is thrown into the eye when not protected. The same goes for people who work with chemicals. Chemical injury to the eyes is not just a work-related problem. Many household products can find their way into the eyes of adults. • Common household agents that can damage the eyes: • Ammonia • Disinfectants • Oven Cleaners • Drain Cleaners • Bleach • Detergents • Makeup and Perfumes • Yard Fertilizer and Weed Killers • Most chemical injuries to the eyes will cause mild irritation and can be resolved by flushing the eye out with water. Stronger agents such as acids can cause long-term structural damage to the eye, resulting in visual impairment. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  11. 11. • What Symptoms Will Chemicals in the Eye Cause? • Burning (sometimes severe if its a stronger agent like drain cleaner) • Tearing • Pain • Redness • Blurred Vision • Go to the emergency room immediately if symptoms do not subside after flushing with water or if vision is significantly impaired. • Damage to the Eye from Chemical Injury Can Include: • Swelling of the cornea and conjunctiva • Burns (either acid or alkali burns) • Infection • Scar tissue altering vision • Increased intraocular pressure (glaucoma) • Dry eye syndrome • Worst case, loss of vision or the eye itself P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  12. 12. Mild-to-Moderate Chemical Burns • Critical signs – Corneal epithelial defects range from scattered superficial punctate keratitis (SPK) to focal epithelial loss to sloughing of the entire epithelium P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  13. 13. Mild-to-Moderate Chemical Burns • Other Signs: – Focal area of conjunctival chemosis. – Hyperemia. – Mild eyelid edema. – Mild-anterior chamber reaction. – 1st or 2nd degree burns to periocular skin. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  14. 14. Moderate-to-Severe Chemical Burns • Critical signs: – Pronounced chemosis and perilimbal blanching – Corneal edema and opacification P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  15. 15. Moderate-to-Severe Chemical Burns • Other signs: – Increased IOC – 2nd & 3rd degree burns of the surrounding tissue – Local necrotic retinopathy P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  16. 16. Treatment • Flushing the eye or eyes with water should begin immediately. The emergency room technician or physician will continue flushing the eye(s) with water, saline or Ringers solution until the pH (acidity) of the eye returns to normal. Pain relief may be administered by dropping anesthetic directly into the eye. Long-term treatment may not be determined until the eye has been given several days to heal. You will probably leave the emergency room with some type of patch over your eye to relieve additional pressure and light strain. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  17. 17. Basic First-Aid Techniques•Basic first-aid techniques include the following: – Specks in the eye • Do not rub the eye • Flush the eye with a large amount of water • See a doctor if the speck does not wash out, or if pain or redness continues – Cuts, punctures, or objects stuck in the eye • Do not wash out the eye • Do not try to remove an object stuck in the eye • See a doctor at once First-aid advice courtesy of Prevent Blindness America P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  18. 18. More First-Aid Techniques – Chemical burns • Flush the eye immediately with water or any drinkable liquid and continue flushing for at least 15 minutes. For caustic or basic solutions, continue flushing while en route to the doctor. • Flush the eye even if it has a contact lens. Flushing over the lens may dislodge it. • See a doctor at once. – Blows to the eye • Apply a cold compress without pressure. • Tape a plastic bag containing crushed ice to the forehead and let it rest gently on the injured eye. • See a doctor at once in cases of continued pain, reduced vision, blood in the eye, or discoloration, which can mean internal eye damage. First-aid advice courtesy of Prevent Blindness America P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  19. 19. The Importance of Eye Protection for Work P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  20. 20. Eye Safety is Everyone’s Business! Government estimates show that there are about 2,000 eye injuries each and every day in the workplace that require medical treatment. Ninety percent of these injuries could be avoided with properly fitted protective eyewear. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  21. 21. Question 1: A majority of workplace eye injuries happen to workers who were not wearing adequate eye protection. True False P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  22. 22. Question 2: Chemical burns are the leading cause of eye injuries in the workplace. True False P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  23. 23. Question 3: If an object is embedded in a patient’s eye, do not cover the injured eye. True False P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  24. 24. Question 4: After injury, the eye usually heals with no major long-term complications. True False P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  25. 25. Question 5: Employers are required to provide face and eye protection to workers at risk for job- related eye injuries. True False P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  26. 26. Question 6: Protective eyewear must be properly fitted to be effective. True False P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  27. 27. Question 7: Training employees on the proper use of protective eyewear can reduce workplace eye injuries. True False P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  28. 28. Question 8: Construction workers are at a low risk of workplace eye injury. True False P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  29. 29. Answer: 1 True Approximately 60% of workers with eye injuries in a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study were not wearing the proper protective eyewear at the time of their injury. Also, many of these injuries were to bystanders. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  30. 30. Answer:2 False Chemical burns accounted for only 20% of the injuries. Nearly 70% came from flying debris, sparks and small objects striking the eye. Of these, many were moving at high speed to embed in the eye. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  31. 31. Answer:3 False First, call for emergency help. After calling, the immediate first aid is to cover both eyes to prevent the injured eye from moving with the healthy one. Remain as calm as possible. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  32. 32. Answer:4 True While TRUE statistically, small scars main remain, impairing vision; and, when eyes don’t heal, the result can be total blindness! National EyeInstitute National Institutes of Health P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  33. 33. Answer:5 True The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require employers to provide suitable eye protection to workers. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  34. 34. Answer:6 True Of the eye injuries which occurred to workers wearing eye protection, 94% were caused by particles or chemicals striking the eye from around or under the protective shield. Protective ocular equipment broke in only 1.3% of the cases. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  35. 35. Answer:7 True A large majority of employers provide protective eye equipment; however, a much smaller portion provide training for its proper use. Making sure workers USE the proper protection in the proper situation is just as important as providing the protective equipment. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  36. 36. Answer:8 False Construction, mining, and manufacturing have had the highest incidence of eye injuries in recent years. Many injuries occur with both power tools (welders, grinders, drills) and hand tools (hammers and saws). P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  37. 37. Types of Eye Protection•The proper type of eye protection must be selected to match the type of hazard. – The most common types of eye protection include the following: • Safety glasses with side protection/shields • Goggles • Faceshields • Welding helmets • Full-face respirators P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  38. 38. Don’t Forget: Home and Recreation Yard work, wood working, cleaning! Basketball, Baseball, Racquet Sports! P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada
  39. 39. Prevent Injuries Before They Happen • Many eye injuries can be prevented. P bar Y Safety Consultants Alberta Canada Wear the Gear

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