Eye Awareness And Safety At Work
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that every year thousands of workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. Also, the American Academy of Ophthalmology states that ninety percent of these eye injuries are avoided by wearing the proper eye protection. Organizations should recommend eye protection that is appropriate for each job setting, and also require bystanders to wear when in close proximity to work areas where there is a potential risk for eye injuries.
Research shows that the two main reasons for eye injuries at work include not wearing proper eye protection and wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that about 2,000 U.S. workers each day sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment. Many safety experts and eye doctors believe that 90% of these eye injuries are preventable thru proper eye protection.
Approximately 90% of the 300,000 eye injuries are preventable by wearing the appropriate eye protection. In most cases there is no safety eyewear, the safety eyewear may not fit, or it doesn’t provide the appropriate protection for the application, and that’s 270,000 workplace injuries that could be avoided each year.
We receive approximately 80% of all our visual images by sight. Our eyes are the best protector from danger If the other senses are compromised. Preserving and protecting this organ is critical. However, 300,000 workplace eye injuries send people to the emergency room each year nationwide. During the summertime, many people, children, and adults are active at home and participate in outdoor sports. Summertime is the time of the year that usually results in an increase in eye injuries. Therefore, it is important that you take steps at work and home to prevent damage to your eyes which could result in long-term negative consequences like the loss of vision.
Digital Devices And Eye Strain
Many devices that we use at work have an impact on our eye health. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain increases eye and vision-related problems that result from:
- Prolonged usage of computers
- Tablets, e-readers
- Cell phones cause increased stress to near vision
There are things that you can do like taking eye breaks throughout the day to avoid CVC. Use the 20-20-20 rule which is to give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking away from your monitor, looking around every 20 minutes, and looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It is important to note that an individual with 20/20 vision and don’t need to wear prescription glasses, can still suffer from digital eye strain due to prolonged screen use.
Important Eye Injuries Facts (Hexarmor)
- Eye injuries make up nearly 45% of all head injuries resulting in days off from work.
- Eye injuries account for approximately $300 million annually in medical bills, compensation, and time off.
- Men ages 25-44 comprise 80% of all workplace eye injury victims.
- 40% of on-the-job eye injuries happen in the manufacturing, construction, and mining industries
Job Eye Injuries
Many eye injuries occur on the job, and almost fifty percent occur in the home associated with activities like home repairs, yard work, cleaning, and cooking (The American Academy of Ophthalmology). More than 40 percent of eye injuries each year are related to sports or recreational activities.
The sun can also damage the eyes, which is why it is important to wear sunglasses and sport-appropriate UV-protective glasses/goggles. Children must have the proper protection and be knowledgeable about safety protocols. In the United States, eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness for children, and most injuries are for school-aged children that are sports-related.
These injuries cost approximately $175 million yearly and account for nearly 100,000 physician visits each year (American Academy of Ophthalmology). Furthermore, ninety percent of all eye injuries are preventable by wearing protective eyewear. Ordinary prescription glasses, contacts, and sunglasses will not protect against eye injuries. Therefore you must speak with your eye doctor for the best advice and recommendations.
Damage to any part of the eye; optic nerve, or any area of the brain, can potentially result in blindness. Several eye injuries such as a detached retina can only be detected by a doctor during an examination. Eye injuries are one major cause of blindness, physical or chemical. Eye injuries can range from getting a benign and removable substance in the eye to permanent vision loss.
Types Of Eye Injuries
- A cut or a scratch of the Eyelid. Small cuts heal on their own.
- Bruise of the Eyelids. Also called a “black eye”.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage. This is a flame-shaped bruise of the white part (sclera) of the eyeball.
- A superficial scratch on the clear, protective “window” at the front of your eye
- A tear of the iris or pupil of the eye. (Serious). …
- Punctured Eyeball (Serious).
Any eye injury you must treat as a potential for a serious eye issue that can result in vision loss or blindness. Contact our office immediately if you believe you or your loved ones are suffering from an eye injury.