Workplace Eye Wellness Month: Protect Your Eyes

February 26th, 2021
using protective eyewear in workplace

Did you know that 2,000 people a day sustain a workplace eye injury that requires medical treatment? Even more surprisingly, 90% of these incidents are completely preventable! These statistics inspired the Prevent Blindness organization to declare March as “Workplace Eye Wellness Month.” This month is all about raising awareness and spreading information to protect you from work-related eye injuries that can impair your vision.
Here’s what you need to know about the risk factors and steps you can take to avoid injury year-round.

Risk Factors for Workplace Eye Injuries

While there are some jobs that seem to lend themselves to eye injuries, you can be at risk in any position, from field operations to desk jobs. In fact, these are some of the most common causes for workplace eye injuries:

  • Flying debris, such as glass, metal, and wood
  • Tools
  • Chemicals
  • Radiation

Even for office workers, though not necessarily an injury, digital eye strain is a highly common condition that causes blurred vision, dry eye, and headaches.

How Serious are Workplace Injuries?

The seriousness of your eye injury varies based on the nature of your situation, such as blunt force trauma, scrapes, chemical burns or strain. However, some severe injuries can lead to vision loss and even blindness, especially without swift and appropriate medical care.
Additionally, the effects of these eye injuries may become more prominent as you age, increasing your risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.
However, eye injuries are particularly serious when you consider the costs of medical expenses, loss of productivity, and workers’ compensation. Altogether, these workplace incidents total about $900 million a year!

Workplace Eye Safety Tips

As mentioned earlier, almost all eye injuries are preventable. There are several ways to keep your eyes protected at work:

  • Wear approved eyewear for your field, such as goggles, safety glasses, eye shields, welding helmets, blue light blockers, etc.
  • Check your workspace for hazards before each shift.
  • Keep your first aid kit up to date and stay knowledgeable about first aid best practices.
  • Always visit a medical professional after an eye injury to avoid worsening the situation.
  • To prevent eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule when working on the computer: every 20 minutes, stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Keep in mind that some debris may get in the eye and feel like a minor irritant, while actually scratching your eye’s surface.

The eye doctors at Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers can treat every type of eye condition, including trauma to the eyes. If you sustain an eye injury, we will not only provide swift and complete care, but we will also continue to monitor your vision to ensure you don’t develop related conditions.