Safety First: Eye Protection

I used to do a series of articles called “Safety First” wherein I made a post around the first of each month that dealt with various safety related aspects of our hobby.  Sadly, that’s a series that has gone the way of the dodo.  I’d love to bring it back, but my focus on the blog has turned to document my hobby progress, and not so much to entertain.  Still, I’d love to see someone bring it back, as it can do a lot of good for the community.

This is pertinent because I had a safety incident this weekend that could’ve been nasty, and easily could’ve been avoided involving a lack of eye protection.  I know I did a safety post about eye safety, but that was apparently just about Lighting & Eye Strain.  As you may have guessed, the incident that occurred this weekend was that I had a small amount of superglue shoot into my eye during assembly.

This happened in my garage, where I was assembling some terrain with a friend.  I had coated both sides of a wall section with a healthy amount of glue and was squeezing them together firmly in front of my face, and a dollop splurted out into my eye.  Immediately, I ran to the sink and washed it out with luke-warm water.  The directions indicated that it needed to be done for 15 minutes and that I was to call a physician.  I was lucky though in that I don’t think any of the glue actually made it all of the way into my eye.  Some of it did crust up under my eyelid though, which made my eye red and irritated for a couple of days.

eye-protection-requiredThis was the very first piece I was gluing together for the day too, so I kept working—but this time, I was smart enough to don eye protection throughout the process.

At work, we make a concerted effort to raise safety awareness at every meeting.  I really need to start taking that advice and applying it more to my personal life—and you should too.  I don’t want to read any posts like this where people are hurting themselves because they’re too foolish to take simple precautions.

Luckily, this was a minor incident, but I’m going to do my best to ensure that it isn’t merely foreshadowing.  You should too.

I’ll leave you with some additional reading, should you be so inclined:

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12 comments on “Safety First: Eye Protection

  1. Glad to hear it wasn’t worse! I think just about every hobbyist has their “near-misses” or “critical fumbles”.

    Mine involved ignoring the age-old rule of cutting away from yourself, and never toward. I managed to get my thumb pretty good, and it caused an awful mess. Still looks a little lopsided, but luckily it still works fine. 😀

    • I’ve been fortunate enough never to have caused any real serious harm to myself (Though I’m sure dumb luck has more to do with that than actual safety). Sad to hear that happened to you, but glad that you at least didn’t lose functionality. 🙂

  2. Since I work in a lab, I’m used to wearing safety glasses. I wear them all the time, drilling, gluing, cutting models, even while working on the car.

    Random tip; when using exacto blades, put a preemptive bandaid on the finger holding the model/piece. Doing so will help take the hit if you slip and may avoid any cut at all.

  3. Good post! I’m glad you weren’t seriously injured!

    It is interesting how safe practices at work can lead us to be safer at home, though as you point out it’s easy to dismiss that training once you’re off work. I’ve made an effort in my personal life to think “is this how I would do this at work?” If the answer is no I think about how to modify my behavior to be safer.

    At the plant where I work we’re in the process of Safe Start training. It’s geared toward taking safety consciousness home, and even includes training videos for kids/teens/young drivers so that we and our families can live safer lives. A key component of Safe Start is the safety story where we share past mistakes to learn about them. Your includes most of the critical items: what happened, how it could have been avoided, and how it could have been worse. The only item you’re missing is what your critical behavior/state of mind was (rushing, aggravated, distracted, complacent, tired) though you hint at complacency. Overall, a good cautionary tale!

    • Great points–and what I really need to learn to do myself.

      It seems so simple, but there are really quite a few things we do as hobbyists that are quite dangerous. Though it’s not really the content many of us want to read, it’s really something we should be saying from time to time. It kind of feels dorky to bang the safety drum, but I’m really starting to drink the kool-aid here.

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