Home > Blog > Face shields: When you need to use one on the job
On behalf of Koszdin, Fields & Sherry posted in Workplace injuries on Monday, November 13, 2017.
Disfigurement from a serious facial injury will follow you for the rest of your life, but, more importantly, a serious injury to your head, eyes, or face could lead to dangerous health complications and disabling conditions.
As with any on-the-job injury, it’s better to avoid facial injuries than needing to pursue a workers’ compensation claim to pay for medical care and time unable to work. One of the best ways to prevent an on-the-job facial injury is to use a face shield when appropriate.
Always use a face shield in the following circumstances
Obviously, if you work in a Van Nuys office building and sit in front of a computer all day, the likelihood of needing to wear a face mask is small. However, there are many situations in which other kinds of workers should always put a face shield on:
When flying debris is present: Fine materials being caught up in the air can get into your eyes. These types of materials might threaten the area around your face and eyes if you’re using power tools, angle grinders, chainsaws, weed whackers, lawn mowers, sanders, saws, and other devices.
When you’re in danger of getting splashed: Let’s say that you’re working with chemicals, acids, corrosive agents, body fluids, paint strippers, or other potentially dangerous substances. A face shield will protect your face from getting splashed by these materials. Eyewear alone is not enough to protect you from these substances, which could potentially enter your mouth.
When you’re working in the presence of high heat: Your face could get burned if you’re welding, doing maintenance on a furnace, or working with molten metal. Sometimes hot items can explode as well and send hot fragments toward your face and eyes. Specially designed face shields made with heat coating material can protect you from getting hurt in these environments.
When you’re working with high voltage electricity: Arc explosions can happen when working with high-level electricity. As such, it’s important for electricians to protect their faces from getting burned or from electrocution with specially-coated face shields.
When there’s the risk of a high-velocity impact: Let’s say you work at a gun range where bullets and bullet shells are flying in all directions. Or, let’s say you work in any environment where a high-velocity piece of debris could strike you. A face shield will protect your eyes and face from injury.
When a facial accident happens at work
Injured workers need medical care fast when their faces are hurt. It may be necessary, for example, to try and save an eye that could be blinded if doctors don’t treat it immediately. This medical care will be costly, but workers’ compensation benefits may be available to help pay for the doctors’ bills of an injured worker.