WhatsApp white chat icon

Toolbox Talk - Eye Safety

Toolbox Talk - Eye Safety
Download Talk

Download your toolbox talk on accident reporting and print it off to deliver to your team.

I. Introduction (2 minutes)


  • Start with a thought-provoking statement:  "Imagine waking up tomorrow and not being able to see the faces of your loved ones, Dave - with your missus that might be a blessing."


  • Here are some examples to give you an idea:
    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Reports nearly 20,000 eye injuries annually requiring at least one day away from work [Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology].
    • HexArmor: Estimates 300,000 workplace eye injuries sending people to emergency rooms in the US each year [Source: HexArmor].
  • For your toolbox talk: You can pick a statistic relevant to your region or industry and emphasise that even one eye injury is too many.


  • End the introduction with a positive statement about eye protection: "The good news is that the vast majority of these injuries are preventable. By wearing the proper eye protection, we can keep ourselves safe and continue to enjoy the gift of sight." Devices like spacebands offer features like the PPE Prompt, which reminds workers entering certain areas that they need to wear eye protection, automating this safety process.

II. Eye Hazards in Our Workplace (5 minutes)

Think about our environment:

  • Let's take a moment to consider our daily tasks and the specific situations here that could pose a risk to our eyes.
  • Ask the audience:  Can anyone share some examples of activities where we should be especially cautious about eye safety?
  • Examples you can provide: (Depending on your workplace)
    • Using hammers, chisels, or power tools that can generate flying debris.
    • Grinding or cutting metal that can produce sparks and hot fragments.
    • Working with chemicals that could splash or emit harmful fumes.
    • Welding or working near welding areas where intense ultraviolet light is present.

Hazards and Injuries:

  • Now that we've identified some risky activities, let's discuss the types of injuries that could happen if we don't wear eye protection.
    • Examples:
      • Scratches or punctures: These can occur from flying objects or sharp tools coming into contact with the eye.
      • Chemical burns: Splashed chemicals can cause serious and permanent damage.
      • Thermal burns: Heat or radiation from welding or other processes can burn the eye's surface.
      • Foreign objects: Dust, particles, or metal fragments can lodge in the eye and cause irritation or discomfort.

Remember: Even a minor eye injury can be very painful and disruptive to your life. By being aware of the hazards and wearing proper eye protection, we can prevent these injuries from happening in the first place.

III. Importance of Wearing Eye Protection (3 minutes)

Safety First:

  • Wearing eye protection isn't optional - it's a legal requirement in most workplaces. [Your company name] prioritises the safety of its employees, and that includes protecting your vision.

The Right Tool for the Job:

There's no one-size-fits-all solution for eye protection.  Just like we wouldn't use a screwdriver for a hammering job, we need the right type of eye protection for the specific hazard:

  • Safety Glasses: These are a versatile option, providing protection from dust, debris, and impacts. Look for glasses with impact-resistant lenses that meet safety standards.
  • Goggles: Goggles offer a tighter fit and additional protection from splashes and fumes. They're ideal for working with chemicals or liquids.
  • Face Shields: Face shields provide full-facial protection from flying debris, sparks, and splashes. They're often used in combination with safety glasses for welding or grinding.

Choosing the Right Fit:

  • Proper fit is crucial for eye protection to be effective. Your eye protection should be comfortable and not slip or slide around.
  • We have a variety of sizes and styles available, so don't hesitate to ask your supervisor or safety representative for help finding the right fit for you.

Taking Care of Your Gear:

Just like any other safety equipment, eye protection needs to be properly cared for to function effectively:

  • Inspect your eye protection regularly for scratches, cracks, or other damage.
  • Keep them clean by following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Report any damaged eye protection to your supervisor so it can be replaced.

By following these simple steps and wearing the proper eye protection, we can ensure a safe and productive work environment for everyone.

IV.  Working Safely with Others (2 minutes)

Looking Out for Each Other:

Eye safety isn't just about protecting ourselves, it's about protecting those around us as well. Here are some ways we can work together to keep everyone's eyes safe:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: When working with hazards that generate flying debris or sparks, be mindful of where others are positioned.
  • Put up barriers: If your task creates a risk zone, use safety barriers or curtains to shield nearby colleagues.
  • Communicate openly: If you see someone working in a hazardous area without eye protection, speak up! It's better to have a quick conversation than witness a potential injury.
  • Lead by example: Always wear your own eye protection and encourage others to do the same. By demonstrating a commitment to safety, you can help create a positive safety culture in our workplace.

Remember, preventing eye injuries is a team effort. By working together and looking out for each other, we can create a safer environment for everyone.

V. What to Do in Case of an Eye Injury (2 minutes)

Stay Calm and Act Fast:

  • If you get something in your eye, the most important thing is to stay calm and avoid rubbing or scratching. Rubbing can worsen the injury and potentially scratch the cornea, the clear surface of your eye.

First Steps:

  • Blink several times: Blinking can sometimes dislodge a small speck of dust or debris.
  • Flush with clean water: If the object isn't easily removed, try flushing your eye with clean, lukewarm water for 15 minutes. You can do this at a sink with a gentle stream of water or by using an eyecup (if available) filled with clean water. Hold your eye open and gently roll your eyeball to ensure the water reaches all areas.

Seek Medical Attention:

  • For serious injuries: If the object is stuck, there's severe pain, blurred vision, or a chemical splash, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Seek immediate medical attention from a doctor or emergency room.
  • After flushing: Even if you manage to remove the object, it's still recommended to see a doctor or urgent care centre to ensure there's no underlying damage.

Additional Tips:

  • Contact lenses: If you wear contact lenses, remove them before flushing your eye.
  • Chemicals: If a chemical gets in your eye, immediately flush with clean water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention right away.
  • Report the incident: Report any eye injury to your supervisor, regardless of severity. This helps to document the incident and identify any potential workplace hazards.

By following these steps and seeking professional medical help if needed, you can minimise the risk of complications and ensure a speedy recovery from an eye injury.

VI. Conclusion (1 minute)

Recap and Key Points:

  • In closing, let's take a moment to recap the key takeaways from today's talk:
    • Our eyesight is precious and essential for experiencing life to the fullest.
    • Eye injuries are unfortunately common in workplaces, but the vast majority are preventable.
    • By being aware of the hazards in our environment and wearing the proper eye protection, we can significantly reduce the risk of injuries.
    • Working safely with others involves open communication, using barriers when necessary, and setting a positive example by always wearing eye protection ourselves.
    • In case of an eye injury, remember to stay calm, avoid rubbing, and seek medical attention as needed.

Open Discussion:

  • I encourage you to ask any questions you may have about eye safety or specific types of eye protection for your tasks.
  • Remember, your safety is our top priority. Let's all work together to keep our eyes safe.

spacebands regularly write toolbox talks on a variety of subjects in the field of health & safety. Bookmark the page or subscribe to our newsletter and get sent all the latest blogs, content and useful widgets and calculators designed for health & safety experts like you.

 Want more great content? 

spacebands orange icon element