A quick word on eye protection for the uniformed police officer, corrections officer and military. I believe most officers understand the importance of wearing eye protection while at the range, when cleaning your weapon or working in the sun. However, what happens is that all too often, officers forget to protect their eyes while working their shift. Sure they wear cool sunglasses when the sun is up. But, what happens when the sun goes down? Those same officers take off their sunglasses and have nothing to protect their eyes at night.
I am a user and strong advocate for eye protection during all shifts and hours. When making an arrest, chasing a suspect, etc. we are exposed to chemicals, blood and other hazards that can not only cause serious injury, but also be life threatening. What officer hasn’t wrestled with a bleeding suspect, only to find out later he has a history of drug use, Hepatitis or other communicable disease? Who hasn’t been spit on or found blood or other fluids on them? Consider this; our eyes are an easy avenue for Blood Born Pathogen (BBP) contamination. Your eyes contain mucus membranes through which you can contract a life threatening diseases or illness.
Provided courtesy of the CDC, “An exposure can be defined as a percutaneous injury (e.g., needlestick or cut with a sharp object) or contact of mucous membrane or nonintact skin (e.g., exposed skin that is chapped, abraded, or with dermatitis) with blood, saliva, tissue, or other body fluids that are potentially infectious.”
“The hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), you should consider that all blood, body fluids, secretions, and excretions except sweat, may contain transmissible infectious agents. Blood contains the greatest proportion of infectious bloodborne virus particle titers of all body fluids and is the most critical transmission vehicle in the health-care setting.”
Your eyes are an important tool and you should protect them from damage and injury. You wouldn’t go on shift without your vest or weapon. So please, wear eye protection at all times when on duty. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your family and loved ones.
If you want to learn more about the hazards of BBP exposure check out this site.
The Charlie Mike Project