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Mitigating Ocular Infection Risks in the Workplace and the Importance of Eye Protection

Clark Seif Clark provides industrial hygiene and indoor environmental quality (IEQ) testing and consulting services to identify and resolve exposure risks.

Chatsworth, CA – WEBWIRE

For general eye protection in the workplace there are multiple OSHA standards to consider. For specifically preventing fungal, bacterial or viral infections of the eye, the requirements become murky in a hurry.

Each year, thousands of employees are blinded from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA standards require employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment and this includes eye and face protection. This must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards.
In some industries, a serious potential risk for workers is the possibility of developing an eye infection. There are a number of different types of bacteria and fungi that can cause this. With regards to fungi and yeasts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists Fusarium, Aspergillus and Candida as three of the more common culprits. Fungal eye infection symptoms are often similar to those of other types of eye infections and can include eye pain, redness and discharge, blurred vision, sensitivity to light and excessive tearing.
“For general eye protection in the workplace there are multiple OSHA standards to consider. For specifically preventing fungal, bacterial or viral infections of the eye, the requirements become murky in a hurry,” said Derrick A. Denis, Vice President of Indoor Environmental Quality for Clark Seif Clark (CSC). “Protecting workers from eye infections begins with the OSH 1970 Act’s General Duty clause, which demands employers furnish employees a place of employment free from recognized hazards that cause serious physical harm. Protecting the eyes requires understanding of the OSHA Eye and Face Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.133), which protects employees from flying particles, chemicals and radiation. One must refer to the OSHA’s General PPE standard (29 CFR 1910.132), which covers personal protective equipment (PPE) for the eyes, face, head, to prevent injurious exposures at the workplace. In addition, one must consider the OSHA Sanitation standard (29 CFR 1910.141). Also, one must reference the OSHA Medical Services and First Aid standard (29 CFR 1910.151(c), which requires eye flushing facilities for immediate emergency use. And, depending on the job and workplace, there are specific standards to consider like OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) that protects employees from reasonably anticipated exposure incidents to blood or other potentially infectious materials to the body including the eyes. Having a reliable expert in your corner can help to clear the muddy regulatory waters, and more importantly, can help to reduce preventable worker eye injuries.”
To help prevent eye injuries, the industrial hygiene and IEQ professionals at Clark Seif Clark offer workplace inspections and testing for microbial and chemical hazards. CSC also provides eye safety and other personal protective equipment training, eyewash station monitoring and many other services to help safeguard employees from exposure risks.
CSC has even sponsored an educational video about fungal eye infections that can be seen at:
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, indoor air quality, infection control, environmental, health and safety services, please visit, email or call (800) 807-1118. 
About Clark Seif Clark
CSC was established in 1989 to help clients in both public and private sectors address indoor air quality, occupational, environmental, and health and safety (EH&S) issues. CSC is a leading provider of these services with multiple offices along the western seaboard and southwest. The company believes in science-based protocols and has a strong background in engineering, making them the preferred environmental consultants to industrial clients, healthcare facilities, architects, schools, builders, contractors, developers and real estate professionals.

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 Eye Protection
 Industrial Hygiene
 Occupational Health
 Occupational Safety

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