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Eye Injury Prevention Month: How To Protect Your Vision At Work

October 22, 2013

Tips on how to keep your eyes safe and protected while at work.

If you are an active person or participate in high-impact sports frequently, you may be aware of the dangers that your eyes can face when participating in these kinds of activities. For instance, you could easily take an elbow to the eye when playing basketball, or could kick sand up into your eye during a beach volleyball game. Because of these common injuries, many people know to wear protective eyewear when playing sports in order to keep their eyes safe.

However, what many people don’t realize is that eye injuries occur just as often, if not more often, when you are at work, compared to when you are playing sports. In fact, according to The American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2.5 million eye injuries occur every year in the United States, and 55% of these eye injuries happen at work.

workplace injuries

Therefore, in order to help people become aware of the common eye injuries that occur at work and help them prevent them, The American Academy of Ophthalmology has named the month of October Eye Injury Prevention Month. Here are a few workplace tips they suggest for keeping your eyes safe this month and all year long:

1. Know Your Emergency Plan

If chemicals splash up into your eye or you get something sharp stuck inside of your eyelid, does your team know the proper steps and emergency plan to follow? Many injuries can be prevented or can be lessened by following the proper safety protocols immediately after an injury happens, so make sure that you know and understand the next steps after an eye injury occurs.

Also, if your workplace is frequently dealing with dangerous chemicals or in a situation where eye injuries can be quite common, it may also be beneficial to have eye safety refresher courses every six month so that everyone stays familiar with safety protocols.

2. Post An Eye Safety Checklist In Vision Danger Zones

Many people will be much more likely to follow vision safety steps and protocols if they are constantly reminded to do so. Therefore, post an eye safety checklist in work areas where vision safety is of upmost importance. Some vision safety checklist points, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:

  • Keep bystanders out of the hazard area.
  • Indentify the primary hazards at the size.
  • Select the appropriate eye protection for the hazard.
  • Make sure the eye protection is in good condition.
  • Make sure the eye protection fits properly and will stay in place.
  • Brush, shake, or vacuum dust and debris from hardhats, hair, forehead, or the top of the eye protection before removing the protection.

3. Make Sure Employees Are Properly Trained In Eye and Face Protection

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, proper training must be provided to employees who are required  to use eye and face protection in the workplace. This training should include:

  • Why the eye and face protection is necessary and how improper fit, use, or maintenance can compromise its protective effect.
  • Limitations and capabilities of the eye and face protection.
  • Effective use in emergency situations.
  • How to inspect, put on and remove.
  • Maintenance and storage.
  • Recognition of medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent effective use.

Make sure that your employees receive this training before being put into a vision compromising situation in order to significantly reduce eye injuries in the workplace.

To learn more about how you can protect yourself against common eye injuries, both at home and in the work place, be sure to contact OCLI today. We can advise you on the best type of eye protection that should be worn in different situations, as well as make sure that your vision is at its best when performing difficult workplace activities.


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