Are You Following These Workplace Eye Protection Tips?

Man using eye protection in workplace

The problems that eye injuries at work can cause is surprising. They can cause personal and financial issues for the employee and company.

Every year, more than 20,000 workplace eye injuries occur. When an injury at work occurs, it usually means that the employee will miss at least one day of work to recover.

According to OSHA, eye injuries at work cost about $300 million a year. This includes medical treatment, worker compensation and productivity.

Eye injuries range from major trauma to straining your eyes. This can cause vision loss, blindness, and permanent damage.

Want to avoid workplace eye injuries? Employers and employees should make sure that everyone is wearing protective eye wear.

90% of eye injuries are preventable with eyewear. Keep reading to learn more about how to protect your eyes in the workplace!

What are common causes for eye injuries?

It is important to look out for things that can cause eye damage. Some of these are:

  • Chemicals can cause burns. Chemicals that could cause these burns in the workplace are cleaning products. Also, welders can get thermal burns. These types of burns usually hurt the eye and surrounding area.
  • Tools such as metal grinders, chisels, wood sanders, air compressors and even common items such as steel wool.
  • Flying objects (i.e. glass or pieces of metal) can cause permanent loss of vision by going through the eye. Some objects that can do this are pieces of wood or metal, staples and nails.
  • Particles from hitting or scraping an eye. They could fly into the air or get onto the employee’s hands. This could be cement chips, dust, tiny pieces of metal and wood chips. Working with tools can put particles into the air or fall above an employee. Big objects can hit the eye or face, or someone can walk into something causing trauma to the eye or eye socket.
  • Radiation
  • A combination of these specific hazards or more

How can I prevent eye injuries?

  • Make sure to know the potential dangers present in your workplace
  • Get rid of hazards before beginning work. You should use machine guarding, work screens or other engineering safety controls.
  • Use the appropriate eye protection.

It is important to wear protective eyewear anytime there is a risk of injuring your eyes. If you go through a work area with hazards, you need protective eyewear.

This situation is common in any job with welding, which increases the risk of getting injured on the job.

How can employers prevent eye related injuries?

Employers need safeguards and engineering controls in place to reduce potential injury. Also, employers should conduct hazard assessments ahead of time.

This helps map out potential risks and appropriate eyewear for each task. In case of emergency, employers should have procedures for what to do if there is an eye injury.

Employers need to provide protective eyewear that’s OSHA approved for all tasks.

What type of eye protection is available?

  • Welding helmets
  • Goggles
  • Prescription and non-prescription safety glasses
  • Face shields
  • Full-face respirators

It is important to wear protective eyewear if you’re working on a project and could get injured.

Wondering if you’re doing everything you can to protect your eyes at work? Schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Columbus, Ohio!