But the reality is that the Occupational Safety and Health Act, like all of our employment laws, was created for valid and noble purposes. Although some of the safety rules seem absurd (the almost-enacted encyclopedic ergonomic standards), most do serve the purpose of protecting workers as much as possible.
In that regard, I am here to offer a personal testimonial to the importance of safety goggles. Two weeks ago, while I was on the Broken Arrow Expressway, some piece of steel weighing about 3-4 pounds flew through my windhsield, long-end missile-style, and hit me in my left eye. I should probably be dead, or vegetabled, or at least have lost my eye. A bit more in either direction, and that would've been true. But even hitting me as it did, from my brow-bone downward in diagonal direction toward my cheek, I should probably be dead.
Why am I not? Most likely the sunglasses I was wearing. You can see in the two pictures below precisely how the steel bar fits into my sunglasses neatly like a puzzle piece. When it hit me, it hit my sunglasses, which bent and absorbed the energy, causing the sunglasses to shatter into my face, but protecting my eye from being impaled.
I suffered some fairly substantial injuries, but they are far less than what they could have been if I hadn't been wearing those glasses.
To employers: don't let your employees get by without following those safety goggle rules. To employees: it is important to wear those goggles. Always. My friend who was in the car with me when I was hit jokingly got me a pair of OSHA-approved sunglasses for the next time I went out (and a welders helmet in case I still didn't feel safe), but--no joke--I'm wearing them. I don't have to get hit in the head twice to learn my lesson. And I'll be darned if somebody hasn't figured out how to make the things somewhat fashionable (mine are a lovely color of burnt umber), not to mention the fact that they currently cover up my scars. Here I am sporting my OSHA-approved eyewear. Perhaps I'll get a modeling gig for the Industrial Safety Review.