Workplace Eye Health and Safety

eyesafetyAccording to Prevent Blindness America, 90 percent of all eye injuries are preventable simply by wearing the proper eye protection.  This is why the Occupational Helath and Safety organization has designated March as Workplace Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month.  During the month of March, workers in all industries are encouraged to protect their eyes now in order to ensure healthy vision in the future. (Source: Occupational Health & Safety)

The majority of eye injuries occur in production, transportation and service industries.  The group Occupational Health and Safety stated that eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards in the workplace.  Workplace eye injuries total more than $300 million annually in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Prevent Blindness America recommends the following tips to promote safety in the workplace:

  • Employees should have regular comprehensive eye exams to verify their vision is adequate to complete their jobs safely.
  • Employers should be notified immediately if safety hazards are discovered in the workplace.
  • Those employees who already have reduced vision should ask their employers if prescription glasses or goggles can be provided through the company.
  • Employees should know where the nearest eyewash station is at work and how to use it to properly clean their eyes.
  • Safety eyewear must have “ANSI Z87” clearly marked on all glasses or goggles and should be worn at all times whenever eye hazards are present.

Our vision is something that can be easily taken for granted.  If you or a loved one works in an industry that may be hazardous to eyesight, please take all the steps necessary to ensure safety.