eye injuries at work

Eye Injuries at Work

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports every day approximately 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries requiring medical treatment. Safety experts and eye doctors know that the right eye protection can and will lessen the severity or even completely prevent 90% of eye injuries. March is Eye Health Safety in the Workplace Month and we are working to educate both employers and employees about how to eye injury in the workplace.

Potential Eye Hazards at Work

The American Optometric Association recommends that eyewear be worn when the following hazards are present at your workplace:

  • Projectiles (dust, concrete, metal, wood and other particles).
  • Chemicals (splashes and fumes).
  • Radiation (especially visible light, ultraviolet radiation, heat or infrared radiation, and lasers).
  • Bloodborne pathogens (hepatitis or HIV) from blood and body fluids.

According to the AOA, some working conditions include multiple hazards but the proper eyewear protection takes that into consideration. The type of safety eye protection you should wear depends on the hazards in your workplace:

  • If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields).
  • If you are working with chemicals, you must wear goggles.
  • If you are working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers or fiber optics) you must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets designed for that task.

Occupations with a High Risk for Eye Injury:

  • Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Auto Repair
  • Mining
  • Plumbing
  • Welding
  • Manufacturing
  • Electrical Work
  • Computer Work*

The type of safety eye protection you should wear depends on the hazards in your workplace:

  • If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields).
  • If you are working with chemicals, you must wear goggles.
  • If you are working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers or fiber optics) you must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets designed for that task.

Know the requirements for your work environment. Side shields placed on your conventional (dress) glasses do not provide enough protection to meet the OSHA requirement for many work environments.


For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page.

Sources: www.aoa.org

Image by Yerson Retamal from Pixabay

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