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March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Protecting the eyes is critical. Every day, more than 2,000 individuals in the country suffer from an eye injury, with many of them losing some degree of eyesight. Research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that lost work time, workers’ compensation, and medical expenses from eye injuries costs about $300 million each year.

Safety eyewear

The easiest and most effective way to reduce workplace injury is to require workers to wear proper safety glasses. Studies show that roughly 90 percent of eye injuries in the workplace could be avoided if workers use safety glasses. About 60 percent of eye injuries occur in workers without eye protection.

The type of safety eyewear depends on the nature of a person’s job. Workers who need to pass through a work site must wear safety eyewear to avoid injuries caused by particles, falling tools, flying objects, and other hazards.

Risk of infection

Workers who are employed in laboratories, health care facilities, or animal handling centers need special protection to reduce their exposure to eye infections. The same applies to employees in the cleaning industry. Exposure to dirt, chemicals, bodily fluids, and other hazardous materials may infect the eyes.

Risk to office workers

Office workers may have a false sense of security because they work in a clean environment with no falling tools or obvious eye hazards. However, even office workers could end up with compromised eye health. Staring at a computer screen all day can weaken your eyesight and cause eye fatigue, headaches, and difficulty focusing. Taking frequent breaks from the computer and using monitor filters could help mitigate risks. Working in an air-conditioned environment could result in dry eyes. Regular use of eye drops and proper hydration can help keep eyes lubricated.

First aid for eye injuries

Every workplace should have first aid kits for eye injuries. Emergency eyewash stations should be installed in areas where hazards are present.

Eye exams

Employees should see their eye doctor for an annual examination. The exam can help the doctor evaluate potential unseen injuries to the eyes.

Our team at The Disaster Company encourages you to take good care of your eyes and wear protective eyewear when necessary. Protect your vision—it’s one of your most precious assets.