Safety First: Eye Safety

Life Ring

Eye safety is a top priority aboard the TS Kennedy

All cadets were required to pack their safety googles for Sea Term 2023.  The goggles are designed to prevent particulates, water or chemicals from entering the eyes.  The goggles affix to a cadet’s head with an adjustable strap.  They must fit snugly but comfortably around the bridge of a cadet’s nose, cheeks, temples, and forehead. There should be no chance of slipping or falling off. 

poster reminding cadets to wear eye protection

Signs in the Engine Labs remind cadets to wear eye protection.

eye protection sign
eye protection sign

Eye wash stations are placed in key areas throughout the ship.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the United States Department of Labor, states: “Where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use.”

Rinsing the eyes with tap water is not recommended.  Even water that is safe for drinking could introduce irritants and contaminants to an injured eye.  The eye washing stations on the TS Kennedy contain sterile saline solution.

The importance of using sterile saline solution is stressed in the article, The Importance Of Eye Flushing Systems
.  ( According to the article, sterile saline solution is “buffered to the same pH as the human eye, which is especially important in the case of chemical splashes, when the eye’s pH is disrupted. Because it utilizes a physiologically correct saline solution that is similar to human tears, it can be used for a full 15 minutes without irritation to the eye."  

Here are three eye wash stations aboard the TS Kennedy.

eye wash station
eye wash station
eye wash station

Hopefully, the cadets and crew aboard the TS Kennedy will not need to use the eye wash stations.  Should an emergency arise, however, it is comforting to know that they are there.