We don’t all have an amazing set of coke bottle glasses to protect our eyes, like Milton from Office Space. If we did, perhaps there would not be so many work-related eye injuries each year in the United States. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment each day! Thus, we spend the month of March observing Workplace Eye Safety Month.
But on a serious note:
Safety experts and eye doctors believe the right eye protection could have lessened the severity or even prevented 90% of workplace eye injuries. Prevent workplace eye strain and eye injuries by following the important steps listed below.
There are four things you can do to help prevent an eye injury:
- Know the eye safety dangers.
- Eliminate hazards before starting work, using machine guards, work screens or other engineering controls.
- Use proper eye protection and make sure it is correctly fitted.
- Keep safety eyewear in good condition and replace it if it is damaged.
Anyone working in or passing through areas with potential eye hazards should wear protective eyewear. Potential hazards against which eye protection is needed in the workplace are:
- Projectiles (dust, concrete, metal, wood, other particles)
- Chemicals (splashes and fumes)
- Radiation (visible light, ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation, lasers)
- Blood borne pathogens from blood and body fluids.