Advisory: Eye Safety During a Solar Eclipse

St. John’s, NL – WorkplaceNL is urging workers and employers to take safety precautions during the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. While captivating to observe, solar eclipses present hazards everyone should be aware of to stay safe.

The most significant hazard of a solar eclipse is the risk of eye damage from looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection. Staring at the sun, even for a short time, can cause severe and permanent eye damage including solar retinopathy or blindness.

Other risks include distracted driving or work as people attempt to watch the phenomenon, and prolonged exposure to UV radiation leading to sunburn and skin damage.

Employers are encouraged to educate workers before the eclipse – through training or safety briefings – about the risks of looking directly at the sun and importance of proper eye protection.

Use safe work practices to reduce the risks and responsibly experience this rare natural event:

  • Choose safe viewing options: Wear certified solar viewing glasses, use telescopes with proper solar filters or pinhole projectors and consider online streaming options to watch the eclipse.
  • Schedule indoor work or breaks: If possible, go indoors or to a shaded area during the peak of the eclipse.
  • Implement traffic safety measures: Do not look at the sun while driving, pull over to a safe location if you want to safely watch, plan travel routes in advance and be mindful of increased traffic and potential distractions.
  • Avoid distracted work: Limit high-risk outdoor work or operating equipment outside, if possible, during the peak of the eclipse.
  • Monitor weather conditions: Stay informed of weather conditions leading up to and during the eclipse as cloud cover and inclement weather may affect viewing opportunities. Adjust safety plans accordingly.

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About WorkplaceNL
Serving approximately 215,000 workers and 17,500 employers, WorkplaceNL administers an employer-funded, no-fault workers’ compensation system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers compensation to injured workers and their dependents.

Media contact:
Carla Riggs, Director of Communications
709.778.1590 or carla.riggs@workplacenl.ca

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