More than 2,000 eye injuries occur on the job site every day and about one in 10 of them require missed workdays to recover. Of the total amount of work-related eye injuries, 10 to 20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss in the affected employees.1
And, while many people think that eye injuries primarily occur in manufacturing, construction or trade jobs, nearly 40 percent of work-related eye injuries occur in offices, healthcare facilities, laboratories and similar environments.
Flying objects, tools, particles, chemicals and harmful radiation, are the causes of most eye injuries. And in many cases, implementing safe work practices and utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment could prevent them entirely.
March is Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month and that is why we are taking this opportunity to remind you of a few tips to help protect your eyes while on the job.
- Always wear the appropriate safety eyewear for your job site or role, even if you are just passing through a hazardous area.
- If working in an area with particles or dust, be sure to wear safety glasses with side shields to protect against flying objects.
- When working with chemicals, always wear safety goggles or face shields to protect against splashing.
- When working around hazardous radiation like welding, lasers or fiber optics, be sure to use special-purpose safety goggles and helmets designed specifically for the task.
So remember - something as simple as putting on a pair of safety glasses can prevent serious eye injuries. These injuries are painful, cause many lost workdays and sometimes lead to permanent vision loss. So during the month of March, and year round, remember to wear your safety glasses!
Eye Injury Facts2:
The fifth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma found that:
- Most people believe that eye injuries are most common on the job — especially in factories and on construction sites. But in fact, nearly half of all eye injuries occurred in the home.
- Home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking caused more than 40 percent of eye injuries. More than a third of those injuries in the home happened in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
- More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
- More than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Only 5.3 percent of those who were wearing eyewear (including glasses or contact lenses), were wearing safety or sports glasses.
Men should know that they are more likely to get an eye injury than women.
Sun can damage eyes just like objects, chemicals and dust. Always wear sunglasses or sport-appropriate UV-protective goggles, such as ski goggles, when outdoors.