Solar Eclipse Hazard Awareness

By Lystine Cush

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a partial solar eclipse will be visible across our operating areas between the hours of 1-4 PM (EDT). Looking directly at the sun will be particularly dangerous during this period of partial eclipse, as it can cause irreversible damage to your eyes. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” (example shown at right) or hand-held solar viewers. 

Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses are NOT safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight.

PLEASE NOTE: Although our operating areas will not be experiencing a total eclipse or total darkness, we can expect the skies to darken during the partial eclipse which may cause limited visibility in our work environments. Please plan accordingly. 

Useful Tips During the Solar Eclipse

  • DO NOT look at the sun during the partial eclipse. Doing so can cause irreversible eye damage.
  • Consider alternate activities for crews working outdoors where solar eclipse hazards and limited visibility may elevate risks.
  • For work performed outdoors during the partial eclipse, hazards of the solar eclipse and limited visibility should be reinforced in morning meetings, hubs, job briefs, and tailboards to raise awareness.
  • If using solar filters/glasses, always inspect them before use; if scratched or damaged, do not use.
  • Cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — DO NOT remove it while looking at the sun.
  • DO NOT look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical devices, even while using a solar filter or glasses.

For additional information on the 2017 Solar Eclipse please visit the NASA Eclipse 2017 Website

Refer to the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers for a list of manufacturers and authorized dealers of eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. 


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