American Welding Society Forum
I have purchased a Snellan eye chart, Jaegar eye chart and have access to color plates for color blindness. Want to set up annual eye exams in-house for all inspection personnel. May administer to welders and painters just to have a benchmark to their level of vision also (no more excuses I could not see that porosity I just walked off and left for QC to find). Not trying to replace a optometrist or opthomologist tests, but just want to have an economical way for employee evaluation so we know if they can see. Question for forum users is: Is there a written procedure or industry standard method for administering these exams or is it OK to make up my own method for using these charts at the proper distance in adequate lighting? Plan to use a modified form similar to AWS CWI application form to document results.
Interesting idea. Makes me wonder though:
How many vision tests do you foresee performing annually?
What is the qualifications of the verifier?
What is "adequate" lighting?
Could your "benchmark" examinations be used by employees for compensation claims if the annual exams show a deterioration in their vision?
What is your budget for these examinations?
At first glance it looks like more problem than solution.
Just my 2 cents.
I "see" your point in trying to establish a baseline for vision or the lack of. But I'm thinking ziggy has some good points to think about also. I'm just wondering if someone will use your own vision testing against you if they can prove they are losing their sight while in your employment or something along those lines.
sumptin to tink about,
Points to consider. Benchmark may be a poor choice of words, I don't know. Our company already has a service for hearing loss on an annual basis. Hearing probably changes some as we get older, but does loss of hearing have same affect on performance in a welding shop as sight does. Virtually everyones eyes get worse with age or abuse. Face it, AWS does not care if you can't hear a cannon going off next to you, but they do care if you can see the warts on a fleas butt. My main objective is to bring vision exams in-house mainly for inspection personnel. Charts cheap, vision plates cost more but there online alternatives. Like I said above, I am not trying to replace an optometrist screening as far as diseases or problems, just verify for our own purposes that people who do inspections can indeed see at an industry accepted level (Snellan 20/40 in at least 1 eye, Jaegar 2 in at least 1 eye, with or without correction and color blindness screening if applicable).
My case for testing welders also is to reduce or eliminate the excuse of "I did not see that porosity or undercut, etc." I know they are always going to use that excuse, but if they knew management knew they could see then they would have less of an excuse for leaving minor discontinuities for QC inspectors to find. It all goes to placing responsibility on the floor personnel for their own performance.
As far as the adequate lighting and other requirements, that is what I was curious to see if anyone had any guidelines for administering the exam. I have been going to optometrists for 20 years for vision screenings ($45 a pop even if employer does pay for it). They usually just hand you the Jaegar card and ask you to read line XXX. They show you a Snellan Chart at 20' and see how low down on chart you can read. They show you Ishihara plates and you tell them the numbers you see. No unusual lighting as I remember. I see no extensive special training required to administer that evaluation. The gentleman (ASNT Level III in everything) who recently did my vision exam for ASNT VT transitioning operates his business out of his home. Ambient lighting only but he asked me to read lines backwards and did more than the optometrist ever did to verify if I could see, not just memorize a chart before the exam. Just looking for general guidelines to make it somewhat legitimate. Guess I could just go to Walmart and ask their vision specialist.
I see no reason why you couldn't test your welders and inspectors eyes yourself. As you say it would be a good benchmark. I would find out what the test requirements are and see if you can duplicate them.
You are not seeking to replace an eye professional or to fill out official forms yourself, but testing could be a good indicator for when a person is having a problem. It might encourage them get their eyes checked professionally. I would check with your legal beagles just to make sure you aren't stepping on any toes.
The aerospace industry has required eye exams for years for welders. I'm talking back into the 70's (for me). The D17.1 specification requires eye exams for welders every two years. As far as I know, nothing prohibits you from performing the exam - provided you have had some type of documented training to do so. Level III examiners give eye exams regularly for NDT technicians.
I do agree that you may want to consult with your companies legal reps. regarding any implied test results. An example would be: "You checked my eyes last week and said they were ok, I did not see that 1" x 4' x 8' sheet of steel coming down the craneway..."
Check out ASME Sec XI IWA-2321. This gives a little bit of "how-to", but it's not very detailed.
I appreciate the effort SSBN727! Will research and proceed based upon findings. Hard to imagine it can take much training to place a card in front of someone and ask them to read it and see how small of print they can read. Lighting conditions seem to be biggest issue. Thanks to all for your input.
I do not think administering your own test for visual acuity is a bad idea. It may save you some money by letting you know if they could pass before sending them to a licenced professional. However it is my understanding that the visual acuity record required by AWS has to be administered by a professional.
If you are doing visual inspection of welds, hopefully you already have a program to qualify and certify inspection personnel to ASNT CP-189 or SNT-TC-1a, or are using CWI's. With either of these optionsthe inspector has to have an eye exam. With the ASNT standards, you can do your own eye exams. When we started doing eye exams in-house, we sent designated people to training by a M.D. on how to properly administer the exam and had the M.D. provide a letter stating what training was administered and who attended. There may be more current requirements now in the ASNT CP-189 standard. We have also used the company nurse at each plant to administer eye exams.
Also, as a Navy welder we had to meet the Jaeger J-1 requirements annually to weld under NAVSEA 250-1500. I haven't seen any AWS or ASME standards that require eye exams for welders. But, I have tested a few welders who had trouble seeing the puddle due to vision problems and could not pass the qualification test without a magnifying lens or prescription glasses. An annual eye exam may help identify the need for corrective lenses and improve weld quality.
Marty are the welders you work with tested for visual acuity? Is it a precursor to welder qual testing and if yes is it used for in house as well as contracted personnel.
We have no eye exam requirement for welders, either in-house or contractor. Having administered a lot of welder qualification tests though, it is sometimes quite obvious when a welder has vision problems. In those cases we have provided magnifying lenses or suggested the welder have an eye exam if they do not currently wear glasses and have been welding for a few years. I can see where an in-house program of annual eye exams might be a good way to head off quality problems.
Thanks Marty I appreciate the response
We are looking at using peer inspection for quality control. One of my concerns is eye strain effecting quality inspections.
I am considering asking for the eye exam and that a portion of the practical exam to be given after the welder has been under the hood for a period of time. Say 1/2 hour or so, or maybe after welding 2 - 2" socket weld mockups one with GTAW the other SMAW. I suspect light sensitivity and strain may play a role in being able to see porosity, judge depth, see fine lines on a fillet gage, etc.
Anyone have experience with this?
I understand vision exams for CWIs and ASNT VIIs is required to be administered by liscensed individuals (or ASNT IIIs). But since D1.1 does not require a CWI to perform all weld inspections (unless job specifications say so), all the personnel inspecting welds in our shop are not CWIs. In fact I am only CWI. I am covered every 3 years anyway. But none the less, I want to know all the inspectors can see (for welding inspection, fitting, paint, etc.). Since we have operated for 25 years with no formal QC Department until about 2 years ago, we are still refining "new" requirements for documenting who is qualified to be an inspector in our shop to meet AISC shop certification requirements. That is where documented vision testing came into play. Again, testing of other personnel outside of the QC Department, such as welders, is only an add on since we have charts.
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