March is Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month. There are a lot of organizations that advocate for this awareness across the country. In the United States, about 2,000 workers have eye injuries that need medical attention because of their jobs. Around one-third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms; some require one or more days off work.
The following are the most common causes of eye injuries at the workplace:
- Tiny particles like dust, metal slivers, cement fragments, and wood chips may hit or scrape the eye. An employee might run into something hard, resulting in the blunt-force eyeball or socket trauma.
- Staples, nails, or anything small can get into the eye and cause permanent vision loss.
- Industrial chemicals or cleaning agents often cause chemical burns to one or both eyes. Thermal burns to the eye are common, especially among welders.
- Most injuries happen when you are not wearing eye protection. Digital eye strain is more likely to occur at work if people use computers, smartphones, and tablets too much throughout the day. Dry eyes, headaches, and blurred vision are some of the symptoms.
Great ways to raise awareness at the workplace this Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month:
- Organize an eye safety meeting or training in your company about Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month.
- Post eye safety posters throughout the office.
- Convey a message about eye safety from the management to the workers.
- Participate in online communities and discussions. There are many forums online where people can get tips and ideas on keeping a healthy vision.
- Inspect all the warning and reminder signs for “Wear Your Eye Protection” at your workplace to ensure they are where they need to be. Order additional items or substitute as necessary.
- In your newsletter, talk about what your company is doing for Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month and give tips on keeping their eyes safe and healthy at work.
Tips on how to prevent eye injuries at the workplace:
- Use eye protection that fits you well, like safety glasses, goggles, welding helmets, full-face respirators, or face shields.
- Remember to take an eye hazard assessment at your workplace.
- Remove dangerous items before beginning work. Employ work screens, machine guarding, or other technical controls.
Best practices to keep your eyes healthy:
- Do some stretching or take a 10-minute break away from your desk. Taking a break from your work is ideal for your eyes.
- Use ergonomic eye movements. Place yourself at least an arm’s length away from your computer screen, around 18 to 25 inches. Make the screen easier to see by adjusting the contrast and brightness. Instead of looking straight ahead or up, position the screen, so your eyes are slightly downward.
- Many people with dry eye pain want to improve their quality of life by using artificial tears. Talk about the best kinds and brands of eyedrops you can buy without a prescription.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule. You may set a timer to remind yourself to gaze 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Just staring away from your computer screen or out the window may do this. If you are required to stay seated for a long time during a virtual meeting, you may close your eyes for 20 seconds.
- Purchase a humidifier. Those who live in high-pressure, cold climates or use heaters can have very dry eyes. Purchasing a humidifier is a wise choice to keep moisture in your room.
Use safety glasses for employment at higher-risk work sites: When working in factories, construction sites, and other places where accidents are more likely to happen, it is important to wear the proper eyewear.
This Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month, make sure to protect your eyes with the right eyeglasses! Schedule an appointment with our optometrists at the Walmart Vision Center Crystal Lake, IL or Walmart Vision Center Harvard, IL.
Dr. Jeffrey Porter, OD and his associates provide quality eye exams in Crystal Lake, Woodstock, Harvard, IL, and surrounding communities.
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