Workplace eye injuries are very common. In 2016, the most recent year with available statistics, 131,000 U.S. workers experienced a workplace eye injury that required treatment. Of these injuries, many lead to temporary or permanent vision damage.
How can you protect your eyes from workplace injuries and blindness?
Use Eye Protection
Experts estimate that 90% of workplace eye injuries could be prevented and their damage reduced with proper eye protection. If you’re worried about making a fuss or being the only one wearing eye protection, don’t be. It isn’t embarrassing to take the steps necessary to protect your eyes; it’s good sense and something everyone should be doing. Most major eye injuries fall into one of two categories: no eye protection or the wrong eye protection for the job. You can protect yourself from most injuries by following this one simple precaution.
The right protection is key to preventing injuries. You’ll need to identify the eye hazards in your workplace and choose the necessary level of protection for your eyes. Commonly used eye protectors include:
- Prescription or non-prescription safety glasses
- Goggles, with or without side protection
- Face shields
- Welding helmets
- Full face respirators
If you don’t know what protection is appropriate in your workplace, ask and find out. Your eye doctor can be a valuable resource for identifying workplace hazards and finding appropriate eye protection. Safety glasses and goggles can be difficult to wear with glasses. LASIK surgery can make it easier and more comfortable to protect your eyes in the workplace.
Remember, wearing prescription glasses doesn’t count as eye protection. You need specially designed protective glasses, not just any pair of eyeglasses or shades.
Learn to Identify Eye Hazards
Is eye protection really needed? Learning to spot potential hazards can help you decide when to pull out and use that protective eyewear. When in doubt, err on the side of overly cautious.
Eye hazards can occur in any workplace, but are especially common in the following fields:
- Vehicle repair
- Electrical work
If you work in these areas, take special precautions to protect your eyes. Wherever you work, always be on the lookout for potential hazards.
Common workplace eye hazards include:
- Particles- sawdust, dust, etc.
- Projectiles- bits of metal, glass, concrete, etc.
- Chemicals- splashes and fumes
- Radiation- lasers, welding equipment, fiber optics, etc.
- Bodily pathogens- blood, saliva, and other body fluids
Many hazards can be reduced or prevented by using proper safety equipment. Use shields, machine guards, screens, and other controls to reduce eye hazards as you work.
Don’t Forget the Digital Eye Hazards in Your Workplace
Working at a desk doesn’t preclude you from the eye dangers of the workplace. Computer Vision Syndrome, also known as Digital Eye Strain, often affects the eyes of worker that use computers, tablets, and other digital devices extensively.
You can reduce your risk of Computer Vision Syndrome and alleviate symptoms by following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from your screen for 20 seconds and focus on an object 20 feet away.
As one of the top LASIK surgeons in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Will understands the value of good vision. Improve your eyesight with LASIK surgery and protect it using proper eye protection. Clear vision is priceless.
Call Will Vision and Laser Centers to learn more about LASIK and refractive surgery in the Pacific Northwest. We have two office locations, Salem, OR and Vancouver, WA, and serve patients throughout Washington and Oregon.