March is Eye Safety at Work Awareness Month. At Advanced Optometry Eyecare we will be focusing on ways workers and employers can help keep eye safety a priority in the workplace, all month long!
Eye Injuries at Work
- Striking or scraping: The majority of eye injuries result from small particles or objects striking or scraping the eye, such as: dust, cement chips, metal slivers, and wood chips. These materials are often ejected by tools, windblown, or fall from above a worker. Large objects may also strike the eye or face, or a worker may run into an object causing blunt-force trauma to the eyeball or eye socket.
- Penetration: Objects like nails, staples, or slivers of wood or metal can go through the eyeball and result in a permanent loss of vision.
- Chemical and thermal burns: Industrial chemicals or cleaning products are common causes of chemical burns to one or both eyes. Thermal burns to the eye also occur, often among welders. These burns routinely damage workers’ eyes and surrounding tissue.
Worker Acquired Eye Diseases
Eye diseases are often transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eye as a result of direct exposure to things like blood splashes, and droplets from coughing or sneezing or from touching the eyes with a contaminated finger or object. Eye diseases can result in minor reddening or soreness of the eye or in a life threatening disease such as HIV, hepatitis B virus, or avian influenza.
Worker Prevention for Eye Injuries and Diseases
Wear personal protective eyewear, such as goggles, face shields, safety glasses, or full face respirators.
The eye protection chosen for specific work situations depends upon the nature and extent of the hazard, the circumstances of exposure, other protective equipment used, and personal vision needs. Eye protection should be fit to an individual or adjustable to provide appropriate coverage. It should be comfortable and allow for sufficient peripheral vision.
Employers Preventing Worker Eye Injuries and Diseases
Employers can ensure engineering controls are used to reduce eye injuries and to protect against ocular infection exposures. Employers can also conduct a hazard assessment to determine the appropriate type of protective eyewear appropriate for a given task.
For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page.