While many people will be excited to experience the solar eclipse as it travels through much of Ontario today, Local 793 members are reminded that the rare event also presents a safety hazard.

Across the province, the eclipse will start at approximately 2 p.m. before peaking between 3:15 and 3:25 p.m. in most major cities. While all of the province will see a partial eclipse, only certain areas will experience totality, including Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Kingston, and Burlington.

While it may be tempting to look up as the moon passes between the earth and the sun, doing so could result in damaging your eyes.

Overexposure to UV light from the sun can cause blurry or distorted vision and blind spots and can also contribute to longer-term vision problems. There are no pain sensors in your eyes, so it is possible you will not know your eyes have been damaged by the sun’s rays for up to 48 hours after the event.

The only safe way to directly look at a solar eclipse is by using eclipse glasses or solar viewers that meet the ISO 12312-2 standard. It is not safe to watch the eclipse with regular sunglasses (no matter how dark they are), a welder’s mask with a filter rating below Shade 14, or a camera, telescope or binoculars unless they are fitted with specially designed filters.

Members could also face other hazards during the eclipse, such as distracted drivers on the roads and temporary darkness making fellow workers or jobsite obstacles difficult to spot. By following the safety guidelines, all members will be able to enjoy the solar eclipse safely.

Ontario’s path of totality of the solar eclipse of April 8, 2024

All times are local.
Source: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada