In an effort to educate corporations and their employees on the importance of vision health, including safety tips on how to avoid vision-threatening eye accidents, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has marked the month of March as Workplace Vision Wellness Month.
The workplace can be a dangerous place for your eyes.
Each day, workers sustain job related eye injuries that require medical attention. Safety experts and doctors believe the two main reasons that workers experience eye injuries is either because they don’t wear anything to protect their eyes or they are using the wrong type of eye protection.
Types of Eye Injuries
Potential eye hazards at work include projectiles such as dust, concrete, metal wood and other particles, chemical splashes and fumes, radiation from visible light, ultraviolet radiation, heat, lasers or infrared and blood borne pathogens such as HIV or Hepatitis from blood and body fluids
High risk occupations for eye injuries include construction, manufacturing, mining, carpentry, auto repair, electrical work, plumbing, welding and maintenance.
Safe Sight on Site
There are four things you can do to protect your eyes from injury:
- Know the eye safety dangers at your work.
- Reduce your exposure to risks before starting work by using machine guards, work screens or other engineering controls.
- Use eye protection that fits properly and provides enough protection for what you are doing.
- Keep your safety eyewear in good condition and have it replaced if it becomes damaged.
Protection for your Eyes
Your optometrist can help you evaluate potential eye hazards at work and determine the best type of eye protection for you. Some working conditions include multiple eye hazards and using proper eye protection should take all potential risks into consideration.
If you work with chemicals you should wear goggles, while if you work in an area where there are flying objects or dust, choose safety glasses with side shields.
Working near dangerous radiation when welding, using lasers, or fiber optics requires the use of special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed specifically for what you will be doing.
Healthy Screen Vision
Working on computers or using mobile and hand held devices can also be dangerous for your eyes. Here are some tips to prevent straining your eyes and visual discomfort when working on a computer or using a hand held device.
Learn the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes a rest. At least every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to look at something 20 feet away. If using a hand-held device, increase the font size so you can use it at a distance more comfortable for your eyes. Also try to adjust the brightness of your screen to a comfortable resolution ensuring that it is not too bright or too dim. It is also easier on your eyes if you position your reading material slightly below eye level.