In the Workplace: An Ounce of Prevention Keeps Eyes Safe!

March is Workplace Eye Safety Month, and your doctors at Atlantic Eye want to remind you that protecting your eyes from injury is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your vision healthy throughout your life.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace each year. These injuries range from simple eye strain to severe trauma that can cause permanent damage, vision loss, and blindness. Fortunately, most of these injuries are preventable.

The most important thing you can do to protect your vision at work is to always wear appropriate protective eyewear. This can prevent more than 90% of serious eye injuries.

Ensure that your eye protection is appropriate for the type of hazard that may be present in your workplace, such as flying debris, falling objects, chemicals, intense light, and heat. Your eyewear must be American National Standards Institute ANSI-approved and OSHA compliant. You must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets if you are near hazardous radiation welding, chemicals, lasers, or fiber optics.

But even gazing at a computer all day can cause eyestrain. Whether you work in an office, or at home during Covid-19, sit at least an arm’s length from the screen and take regular eye breaks to look away from the computer. Use artificial tears if you develop a dry eye and keep your screen brightness similar to the room light.

Any eye injury can be serious. Workers and employers should know how to recognize an eye injury and get help right away, especially if you notice any of these signs:

  • The person has obvious pain or trouble seeing;
  • The person has a cut or torn eyelid;
  • One eye does not move as well as the other;
  • One eye sticks out compared to the other;
  • The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape;
  • There is blood in the clear part of the eye;
  • The person has something in the eye or under the eyelid that can’t be easily removed.

Remember not to let your guard down when it comes to eye safety, and if you think you have sustained an eye injury, don’t delay – call us at Atlantic Eye — or go to an emergency room for immediate care.