The CDC reports that roughly 2,000 workers in the United States who sustain job-related eye injuries need medical attention every day. 10 to 20 percent of job-related eye injuries cause permanent or temporary vision loss.
Experts believe wearing the correct safety eyewear can lessen the severity of eye injuries or even prevent 90 percent of them. Further, OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires employers to keep their employees safe in the work environment.
This means that face and eye protection needs to be available. That includes prescription safety glasses, full-face respirators, face shields, goggles, and welding helmets.
Having them available protects against mechanical, chemical, or environmental hazards. The American Academy of Ophthalmology observes March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month to give employees and employers tips and information on maintaining healthy vision on the job.
Workplace Eye Injuries
Common causes of eye injuries at work include chemicals, eye strain from digital devices, tools, harmful radiation, chemicals, and flying debris like glass or metal bits. Not wearing any eye protection and wearing ill-fitting or improper safety eyewear are the main culprits behind most eye injuries at work.
And for those working in an office setting, excessive use of smart devices, laptops, and computers can lead to digital eye strain.
Eye Safety Tips
Fortunately, almost every workplace eye injury is preventable with the use of appropriate eye protection. The annual cost of eye injuries is approximated to be over 450 million.
But additional costs like higher insurance rates, legal fees, and fines increase the estimate to more than 900 million. Keeping your eyes healthy and protecting your vision in the workplace means you can save on healthcare and other avoidable costs.
Besides, healthy eyesight is essential for independence, productive work, and living a good quality of life. You have to make your eyes a priority to maintain healthy vision throughout your life.
The following are some of the ways your employer can help observe Workplace Eye Wellness Month:
- Ensure you have eye safety posters put up strategically in your workplace
- Conduct regular meetings on eye safety
- Provide safety tips in your newsletters
- Review the eye safety signs at your company to ensure you have enough reminders to always wear eye protection in necessary places
- Have everyone complete an eye hazard assessment to help them understand the eye safety dangers present at work
- Check if everyone is using the proper eye protection
- Get rid of hazards before working, such as using work screens and machine guards
For those who work in manufacturing or construction, wearing proper, well-fitting eye protection such as welding helmets, goggles, full-face respirators, and safety glasses can help avoid blunt force trauma and exposure to infectious diseases, thermal burns, flying particles, or chemical burns.
If you work with electronic devices, including computers and tablets, digital eye strain is a severe problem. Digital eye strain can cause headaches, blurred vision, and itchy, burning, or tired eyes.
To reduce the effects, our team of eye doctors at Shoreline Vision recommends taking regular breaks. You can use what’s called the 20-20-20 rule.
After 20 minutes, take at least 20 seconds to look at an object that’s 20 feet away. Using this rule, you can give your eyes a break from screens and allow them to blink and lubricate.
Top-Rated Eye Doctors
At Shoreline Vision, our eye doctors are highly skilled and extensively experienced when offering second to none care to our patients. We draw on the most advanced technologies to deliver top-of-the-line treatment for work-related eye-injuries and every kind of eye care you may need.
Need to schedule an appointment? Contact Shoreline Vision in Norton Shores, MI, to meet with one of our ophthalmologists today.