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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Safety Idea

Preventing Eye Injuries

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All Mines
Category: General Safety, Maintenance


Miners are regularly exposed to workplace hazards that pose dangers to their eyes. From 2000 through 2011, about 3,200 eye injuries occurred in the mining industry. Eye injuries are most often caused by:
Distraction to Disaster in One Step
  • Flying particles
  • Chemical splashes, vapors, or dust
  • Being stuck by or bumping into an object
  • Sparks or molten metal and other hot liquid splashes
  • Light radiation from welding
  • Studies have shown that 90 percent of all workplace eye injuries can be prevented when miners wear the proper eye protection. Most injuries occur because the miner was not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident. In other instances, miners were wearing eye protection but the eyewear did not adequately protect against the specific hazard involved. Miners can help avoid eye injuries by:

  • Wearing protective eyewear before entering the mine or any other area where hazards may be present
  • Using safety eyewear that provides the maximum protection against the specific hazard
  • Making sure your eyewear fits properly and comfortably
  • Inspecting protective eyewear regularly and replacing if there are defects
  • Knowing where eyewash stations are located and how to use them
  • Knowing basic first aid for eye injuries
  • Storing your protective eyewear where it won't get scratched or damaged, and keeping it clean
  • Remembering to step away from the potential hazard if the eyewear is removed for cleaning
  • Using antifog material and keeping eyewear on at all times
  • Immediately reporting potential hazards that could affect eyes to a supervisor


  • If you have a tip you would like to pass on, you can email it to zzMSHA-MinersTips@dol.gov.
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    Issued: 3/2/2012
    Tag # AP2012-100779