Workplace eye injuries are more common than we know. If you’re like most people, you spend the majority of your day at work. And if you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about the fact that work can be dangerous to your eyes. Whether you are a construction worker, cashier, or office worker, it is important to take precautions to protect your eyes from injury. Here are some essential tips to help you keep your eyes safe while on the job.
Approximately 2,000 American workers suffer work-related eye injuries each day, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). These injuries necessitate medical attention.
The correct eye protection, according to safety experts and eye physicians, can minimize the severity or even avoid 90% of these eye injuries. Scratches on the cornea and chemical or a foreign item in the eye are frequent workplace eye injuries. Other common eye injuries include splashing liquids, steam burns, and exposure to UV or infrared radiation. In addition, exposure to infectious diseases through the eyes poses a danger of infection for laboratory and janitorial employees, as well as other workers and health care providers. (AOA.org)
Protecting Your Eyes at Work
Wearing personal protective eyewear that is best suited to your work environment and always is the greatest method to safeguard your eyes from risks. Use eye protection that fits your head and face properly, is not cracked or scraped in a way that hinders vision. Options for eye protection include full-face respirators, safety glasses, face shields, and goggles. Before taking off your safety glasses, brush or vacuum any debris from your hair, face, or headwear. After use, clean your eyeglasses. Additionally, refrain from rubbing your eyes until you have fully cleansed your hands. It is also crucial to get routine eye exams, which should be done every two years, to make sure your vision is in good enough shape to enable you to work safely. (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
If you cut yourself or get hurt, avoid attempting to extract anything stuck in the eye, avoid rubbing, touching, or putting pressure on the eye, to protect the area around your eye, and to prevent further injury, put a patch or shield over it. Visit the nearest emergency room.
If chemical or dust/debris exposure results in eye damage, before going to the doctor, locate the eyewash station that is closest to you at your place of employment. Any available supply of clean water may be utilized in the absence of an eyewash station. Should you be struck in the eye, avoid attempting to squeeze the eye. To lessen any swelling, apply ice or a cold compress. To discuss the injuries and determine whether further treatment is necessary, speak with a physician. (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
Screen Time for a Desk Job
The majority of Americans probably spend more than 11 hours a day gazing at screens. Reading small, lighted writing on a cell phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer for extended periods of time can strain your eyes and hurt them, which is bad for your eyes and your vision. The majority of people who use a computer screen for work experience some signs of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a term used to describe the several types of eye pain and strain that can arise from prolonged screen use. Eye dryness, eye strain, headaches, difficulty focusing, and blurred or double vision are some of the most typical signs of CVS. (Joseph, 2022)
Eye safety is immensely important for everyone, especially those who work in high-risk environments. Employers should ensure that their workers have the correct protective eyewear and are practicing safe eye care habits. Additionally, it is important to take necessary precautions when dealing with a potential eye injury. Proper safety measures, proper hygiene practices, and regular eye exams are key components for keeping your eyes healthy and safe at work.
“Protecting Your Eyes at Work.” AOA.org, www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/protecting-your-vision?sso=y.
“Protecting Your Eyes in the Workplace.” Protecting Your Eyes in the Workplace | Johns Hopkins Medicine, 16 Oct. 2021, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/protecting-your-eyes-in-the-workplace#:~:text=The%20best%20way%20to%20protect,goggles.
Joseph, Shelcy V. “How Your Desk Job Can Damage Your Eyes — and What You Can Do about It.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 9 Aug. 2022, www.forbes.com/sites/shelcyvjoseph/2019/05/12/how-your-desk-job-can-damage-your-eyes-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/?sh=7cde44116fdb.