SAFETY FOCUS: Don’t Overlook Portable Machine Tool and Welding System Eye Safety!

There is a tremendous focus on job safety in the modern workplace and probably no greater concern than the protection of eyesight. Vision is a critical ability that can be lost in an instant through an industrial accident when proper eye protection is not being utilized correctly.

Not unlike the sense of hearing, your eyesight can be slowly injured, often without detrimental signs or symptoms before it is too late. Irreparable vision loss can occur when insufficient protection is used when welding, for example, with accumulated and repetitive damage over time.

The hazards of proper eye protection for the worker who operates portable machine tools can be greater than with other types of tools. One of the benefits of portable severing, beveling and squaring machines, etc. is their ability to mount in tight spaces and be supported by the work. This can bring the machinery into positions of being above the operator with correspondingly higher likelihood of cutting debris entering the eyes.

The “cold cutting” process produces cutting chips that can vary between small projectiles, to long and ribbon-like in nature. Small chips can exit the cut with considerable force and travel a good distance within the cutting area. In addition, they can be extremely sharp and red hot as they leave the cutting bit.

Bottom line – Keep an eye out for vision hazards!

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