Grinders: What’s the Right Eye Protection?

Grinders: What’s the Right Eye Protection?


It may seem obvious – wearing eye protection
when grinding – but it’s not something everyone does. In the last 5 years, more than 500 manufacturing
workers in B.C. have filed injury claims after being struck in the eye by debris while using
a grinder. These eye injuries can be very serious. Over
time a tiny piece of iron or steel that has penetrated into the eye can rust and degrade,
becoming toxic – damaging the eye. Untreated, this condition can lead to irreversible
blindness. Two of the easiest things you can do to prevent
eye injuries are: One:
Use guarding. Make sure the grinder has its guards and/or
shields in place and that they are correctly adjusted. And two:
Wear eye protection. When using grinders, in most cases this means
wearing safety glasses or goggles along with a face shield. You may ask “Why not just safety glasses?”
or “Why the face shield?” When grinding, safety glasses protect your
eyes from direct hits from particles. However, many of the claims were from workers
injured when particles flew or deflected underneath their safety glasses. A face shield protects your eyes and face
from flying particles and also from projectiles in case a wheel breaks.
Face shields are not designed to be worn on their own.
Safety glasses or goggles need to be worn under them. Employers are responsible for supplying the
right protective eyewear to avoid the risk of injury to the eyes and/or face. Choose carefully by asking the right questions,
such as: Is there a risk of particles circumventing
the safety eyewear? and Is there a risk of projectiles from fragmenting
wheels? In B.C., about every two working days one
worker using a grinder will suffer an eye injury.
Don’t risk your sight. Wear eye protection.

14 Replies to “Grinders: What’s the Right Eye Protection?”

  1. …also, always stand off to one side of the plane of rotation.
    Before making any cut or grind, plan ahead of time how to position myself, the grinding disk or stone & the work piece so that I can observe inspect my work while minimizing my exposure to risk.
    If I am not satisfied with the situation, stop the work, then reposition myself & the piece to be worked.
    Be aware of the risk to yourself & other people around you.

  2. This is no joke. I ported a set of cylinder heads and got a tiny piece of metal in my eye the next day, presumably when I showered. It quickly became very painful and was embedded in my eye such that running did nothing whatsoever. I had to immediately see an eye doctor who basically took a glorified tweezers directly onto my eyeball. IT SUCKED!!! DON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU! Fortunately I didn't suffer any long term damage.

  3. thank you for your time. i will always wear eye protection i have 3m wrap around goggles. i hate that they always fog up but they are saving my vision every time i wear them on a job. i will also buy a face shield for my future projects/jobs.

  4. Whilst wearing safety glasses i received an eye injury when a particle deflected off a panel behind me, into and off inside of the glasses and into my right eye!
    Sealed goggles are your best bet!

  5. Which one will be the perfect safety gloves while using angle grinder & arc welding,,, kindly reply, thanks a lot

  6. I have twice been hit in the eye by metal splinters while angle grinding. The second time I had glasses on, I was using an industrial grinder that caused the metal splinter to hit the bottom of the rim of my glasses and ricochet into my eye. If it happens to you, go to outpatients at the hospital ASAP, if you get it out quickly then it does not become infected like happened the first time to me.
    I would not wear a full mask as most of your near accidents with angle grinding are because of lack of attention, a full mask would make that worse.
    A full mask alters your peripheral vision and catches on things. You could probably work naked on most jobs if you were fully knowledgeable about what you are doing and never took risks.
    If you wear safety glasses then the only way for debris to hit your eye is directly from above or below or the sides. I just never grind with something I am standing over. Been over 40 years in practical engineering and have been pulled into a machine by my "safety jacket"…….knowing what you are doing is more important than any safety gear. Lost count of the number of times I have seen people all kitted out in safety gear doing really dumb things purely because they think they are safe by just following regs.
    If you think safety is anyone else's problem other than your own you will probably end up getting seriously injured sooner rather than later. If you spend a lot of time working in a dangerous environment then you will have accidents, accepting that and working safe enough to mitigate serious injury is what distinguishes a pro from a whiney know nothing. Proper work stance and positioning with the right tool for the job will keep you safe most of the time. Most serious accidents I have seen start off with being caught off balance and not because you temporally lost your mind.

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