We are always preoccupied at work with planning tasks, meeting deadlines, checking things off our to-do lists, and simply getting our jobs done, but we must still remember our safety, which includes eye safety.
Dr. Rohit Varma explains, that one of the most common forms of occupational injuries is eye injuries. Every day, approximately 2,000 people in the United States suffer from a work-related eye injury.
Staff are often exposed to infectious diseases through their eyes in work-related accidents, in addition to traumatic eye injuries. When exposed to certain substances, our eyes have permeable mucous membranes that allow substances to move through. Infectious diseases can be transmitted through our eyes if we are exposed to blood splashes and respiratory droplets from infected persons, for example.
Let's take a look at how we can protect our eyes from both traumatic injuries and infectious diseases.
Workplace Eye Injuries: What Causes Them?
Eye injuries at work can be caused by a number of factors, including:
Splashes of chemicals: If you work with or around chemicals, you're well aware that they can splash, causing burns on the face and eyes. Chemical burns can be dangerous, and in extreme cases, they can also result in blindness.
Tool-related impact injuries: Industrial and construction sites are one of the most common causes of occupational eye injuries. When using certain tools at work, such as welding equipment, power tools, and lawn equipment, eye injuries may occur.
Things in the eye that aren't supposed to be there: Wood, metal chips, and other debris in the air or on the hands can all get into your eyes. Scratches and corneal abrasions may be caused by foreign object injuries.
Work with radiation: Some occupations can require you to work with radiation. If proper precautions are not taken, radiation exposure to the eye will result in burns and permanent damage.
Using Proper Eyewear to Avoid Eye Injuries and Exposure
Wearing proper protective eyewear could prevent about 90% of eye inquires at work, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The type of eyewear that is suitable for you in your workplace is determined by many factors, the most important of which is the type of hazards you are likely to experience.
Following are Examples of Protective Eyewear
Goggles: Goggles are one form of eye protection that can come in handy if you work with or near chemicals.
Face shields: Face shields defend against splashes and are commonly used in hospitals to avoid infectious disease transmission.
Welding helmets: People who deal with dangerous materials, such as fiber optics, may be forced to wear welding helmets.
The impact and scratch resistance of protective eyewear is tested. Make sure that the form of protective eyewear you select meets the American National Requirements Institute's standards (ANSI). Impact-resistant materials, such as polycarbonate, can be used in the lenses of protective glasses and goggles.
Dr. Rohit Varma says in order to prevent any eye damage please bear in mind that proper protective eyewear does not include standard sunglasses or eyeglasses. When working outdoors, you can need corrective lenses and UV protection, but no form of eyewear will protect your eyes from serious injury or splashes.
Tips for Preventing Eye Injury
Although the most important thing you can do to avoid eye injuries is to wear the most suitable protective eyewear for your work and the dangers it poses, you can also take a few additional precautions to protect your eyes:
- Make sure your safety glasses are correctly installed. You won't get the full advantage or support you need to stop injuries if you wear ill-fitting goggles or protective glasses. To provide full and adequate coverage, safety eyewear should be flexible or custom fit.
- Make sure your protective eyewear is comfortable and allows for good peripheral vision. If safety glasses are uncomfortable, you can avoid wearing them even when they are needed.
Understand the threats that your work poses to your life. Examine the workplace carefully to decide what poses a danger so you can take the appropriate precautions. If your employer does not have sufficient protective eyewear, make sure to notify them so that you can acquire the eyewear you need.
Know where the closest emergency eye flush station is if you operate in or around chemicals. If you're uncertain, inquire. If you get a chemical splash in your eye, you can wash it out for at least 15 minutes and seek emergency medical assistance.
Identifying an Occupational Eye Injury.
It is important to identify a work-related injury as soon as possible. Although you should not try to handle a serious injury on your own, noticing an injury quickly will encourage you to obtain professional medical attention as soon as possible.
There are some visible symptoms of an eye injury. Symptoms can be mild or noticeable in some situations. If you know or think you've had an eye injury, or if you're having any of the symptoms mentioned below, see an ophthalmologist right away:
- A cause of discomfort
- Vision that is hazy or cloudy
- Eyelid that is broken
- Pupil size is unusual
- Anything seems to be trapped under the eyelid
If you have an eye injury at work (or somewhere else), you should see an eye doctor right away. Do not touch or rub your injured eye, and do not attempt to remove any artifacts. Also, do not stop for pain relief on the way to the ophthalmologist or emergency room. To have the best chance of protecting your eye and vision, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you have chemical burns, wash your eye for at least 15 minutes with clear water and seek emergency medical attention right away. According to OSHA legislation, the employer should have eye flush stations. Directly to the place and make a coworker dial 911.
We'll talk about "Safe Celebrations: Avoiding Eye Injuries During the Holidays" in our next post for Home Eye Protection Month / Eye Injury Prevention Month. It's not to be skipped! In no time, the holiday season will be upon us.
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