Eye Emergency First Aid

Emergency shower and eye wash signage

Eye injuries are serious. They require immediate first aid and medical attention. It is important to note that every eye injury is different and therefore requires different treatment. The below first aid recommendations are for common eye injuries. Where possible, a trained first aid officer should conduct first aid onsite until medical assistance is obtained. For more about first aid courses and site requirements contact your local ATOM Safety representative.

Read more on First Aid in the Workplace

Chemicals in the eye

Chemicals in the Eye

  1. Remove any contact lenses.

  2. Immediately use a saline solution, DIPHOTERINE® solution or water to flush the eye. If using water, flush for at least 15 minutes. If available, use an eye wash station. Alternatively place the eye under a faucet, shower or water hose.

  3. Do not try to neutralise the chemical with any other substances.

  4. Do not bandage or cover the eye.

  5. Seek immediate medical assistance.

Read more on Eye Wash Stations

Dust in the eye

Particles or Dust in the Eye

  1. Do not rub the eye.

  2. Use natural tears or an artificial tear solution to clear out the contaminants.

  3. Generate tears by lifting the upper eyelid down and over the lower eyelid.

  4. If the particle does not wash out, keep the eye closed and bandage lightly.

  5. In severe cases, seek immediate medical assistance.

  6. If metallic particles are left untreated for several days they can cause rust spots.

Air in the eye

Air Blows to the Eye

  1. Apply a cold pack gently to the eye. Take care to not apply too much pressure.

  2. Assess pain and/or swelling.

  3. Seek medical assistance if necessary.

Cuts to the eye

Cuts or Punctures to the Eye or Eyelid

  1. Do not attempt to wash out or remove any object that is stuck in the eye.

  2. Use thick pads above and below the eye or cover the eye with a rigid shell, such as a paper cup to protect the wound.

  3. Seek immediate medical assistance.

Smoke in the eye

Smoke in the Eye

  1. Wash eyes with water or a sterile saline solution.

  2. Seek medical assistance if necessary.

Burns to the eye

Burns to the Eye

  1. Gently hold the eyelid open, washing out with cold flowing water for at least 20 minutes.

  2. Cover the injured eye with an eye pad or clean light dressing.

  3. Seek immediate medical advice.

When performing eye first aid make sure that you do not:

  • Touch the eye, or any contact lens

  • Allow the injured persons or others to rub the eye

  • Try to remove any object penetrating the eye

  • Apply any pressure when dressing or bandaging the eye

Avoid accidents by making sure that you have the proper risk controls in place. Contact the ATOM Safety team about a site risk assessment.

Read more on When to Wear Eye Protection

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ATOM acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands in which we operate in Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them, their cultures; and to elders both past, present and emerging.