5 Ways to Protect Your Eyes at Work
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 20,000 eye injuries occur each year in the workplace. These injuries range from minor, superficial injuries to severe injuries that cause permanent damage and blindness. Many workplace eye injuries can be prevented by utilizing simple yet effective workplace eye protection safety measures.
Five Ways to Protect Your Eyes When Working:
Wear protective eyewear.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that most eye injuries occur due to striking and scraping when small particles such as dust, metal slivers, and wood chips strike the eye or face. Personal protection equipment, like safety glasses, face shields, and safety goggles are vital to protecting your eyes.
Locate and use eyewash stations.
Eyewash stations are a valuable resource, especially if working with chemicals that could splash into the eyes. These stations provide water and other supplies that offer immediate first aid. The faster you can clean your eyes of any chemicals or debris, the lower the chance of lasting damage. Always keep a mental note of the nearest eyewash station.
It’s important to note that eyewash stations are for removing substances like particles or chemicals from your eyes. Lubricant drops (or artificial tears) on the other hand are to help soothe dry eyes. They do replace the need for eyewash stations in workplaces.
Handle tools properly.
Training in using and handling tools limits the chance of accidents caused by improper usage. Always make sure all tools are in good working condition before using.
Look away from your computer.
Yes, you read it right. Glass shards, blood, chemicals, and other dangerous objects initially come to mind when thinking of workplace eye safety. But something as simple as staring at your computer screen too long can cause headaches, dry eyes or red eyes, eye strain, and blurred vision.
To protect your eyes during screen time, take screen breaks every 20 minutes (or when eyes feel tired) by looking away for 20 seconds while focusing on a distant object. This helps reduce strain on your eyes. Other options to combat digital eye strain when working on a computer include wearing blue light glasses and upgrading to a matte screen.
Get regular eye exams.
Although this recommendation may not seem obvious, regular eye exams will ensure corrective measures are taken to allow you to see clearly as possible. Uncorrected vision can lead to accidents, and prescription safety glasses and goggles are an option if needed.
It is important to note that workplace eye protection is just as important when working from home or around your yard. Gardening, do-it-yourself projects, cleaning with harsh chemicals, and repairing appliances all pose a risk to your eye health. It is best to err on the side of caution and take preventive measures like the ones mentioned above to limit the risk of harming your eyes.
Make your eye health a top priority. To schedule your next comprehensive eye exam, please contact The Eye Center, with locations in Huntsville and Madison, at 256-705-3937.