The cornea is the front layer of the eye and the first point at which light enters the eye; if light rays cannot pass through the cornea, vision is prevented. Injuries to the cornea that cause scarring, scratching, or inflammation can impair sight.

Below are usual causes of eye injuries associated with construction.

1. Flying Objects
A piece of metal can pierce the cornea and eyeball and possibly cause the loss of an eye.

2. Dust
Dust, sawdust, etc. can cause irritation resulting in a corneal ulcer which is a breakdown of corneal tissue causing a red, watery, or pussy eye.

3. Heat
Heat can burn and severely damage the cornea.

4. Acid Splash
Acid splash and chemicals can burn the cornea, conjunctiva (white coat on the eye), and eyelid and possibly cause loss of sight.

5. Abrasive
Sand can cause a corneal abrasion which can result in loss of sight.

6. Glare
Glare can make it difficult to see and can cause extreme fatigue to the eye.

7. Radiation
Ultraviolet light from a welding arc can damage the cornea.

Correct eye protection, when matched to the hazard, can prevent or reduce the degree of any eye injury. However, once an eye injury has occurred, it is critical that the injury, no matter how small, be given immediate attention and first aid.

Eye protection can only protect against injury if it is worn continuously on-site. It is often the time when a worker removes eye protection while working near or passing by other hazardous activities on the job that an eye injury results.

When it is necessary to remove eye protection, do so only in a location that is completely away from hazardous work areas. The inconvenience of we a ring eye protection is far outweighed by the risk of being blinded in one or both eyes.

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