Most workplace eye injuries are minor. However, some of them can be severe and lead to blindness or vision impairment. Any job whether it involves construction work or handling chemicals carries a significant risk of eye injuries.
In three out of five cases of eye injuries, workers were either using the wrong kind of eye protection or none at all. This brings home the importance of using proper eye safety gears at work.
Eyes are highly delicate sensory organs. Any minor injury can affect your vision or even result in permanent vision loss.
What is safety eyewear?
Safety glasses are hybrid products that combine the visual clarity of prescription glasses and the protection level of safety goggles.
Although most prescription glasses online are built from strong materials, they are not always sufficient to guard your eyes. In fact, if you use contact lenses, it can make the situation even worse.
Different hazards call for different modes of protection. You must consider the following points to select an appropriate type of eye protection.
- The nature of the hazard
- Other protective gears used
- Your individual vision needs
- Your surroundings
Eye protection should be the responsibility of employers. Safety glasses should also be adjusted to the workers’ vision needs. They must also provide comfort and better peripheral vision.
High-risk jobs that require eye safety
Jobs that have a higher risk for eye injuries are those that include the use of the following:
- Dusty environments
- Excessive exposure to bright lights or UV lights
- Compressed air
- Metal r wood chips
- Machines for grinding or drilling
If you spend time outdoors, then the most threatening thing to your eyesight is the UV light. In this condition, you can use sunglasses or normal glasses with photochromic lenses to filter out UV light.
Choose your safety glasses based on the type of potential hazard you are exposed to. Prevention is better than cure. Measures for workplace eye safety taken today will reduce the risk of vision loss.
Types of workplace eye injuries
If your job involves a risk of eye injuries, then you need to use protective eyewear. Based on your type of work, you may be exposed to one or more than one type of eye injury.
These are the common safety hazards that you need to guard your eyes against:
- Projectiles or particles of dust, concrete, metal or wood. When these objects penetrate your eyes, they can scratch the surface of the cornea and damage the iris. In some serious instances, workers may also experience eye trauma.
- Splashes and fumes of chemicals or toxic substances will trigger a burning sensation in the eye. Although it is often accompanied by a set of temporary symptoms, the damage may vary based on what has gone inside your eye and how long it has been inside your eye.
- Prolonged exposure to sunlight or UV rays can elevate your risk for eye cancer. These radiations can also degenerate your macular health and may even lead to cataracts.
If something has penetrated your eyes, it’s important that you see an eye doctor immediately.
Even when you’re not dealing with chemicals or UV rays at work, your eyes can get hurt. People with a 9 to 5 desk job that involves staring down a digital screen for hours can leave their eyes in pain.
People involved in high screen time every day run the risk of developing computer vision syndrome. This problem is also called digital eye strain and includes symptoms such as eye pain, blurry vision, dry eyes and more.
Those with a high screen time are advised to use blue light glasses to prevent eye strain. If you don’t want to buy a separate pair of glasses, you can just add the blue light filter to your current prescription or reading glasses for men or women.
Tips for eye safety at work
No matter what type of work you do, it’s important to realise that threats to your eyes exist. Here’s what you can do to protect your eyes at work.
- Do a quick assessment of your workplace and make sure to remove objects that pose a threat to your eyes.
- Use the right type of safety glasses.
- Ask your employer for other eye safety gear and make sure that your current safety glasses aren’t damaged.
- Acquire better knowledge of your work so you also know the potential hazards that can occur to your eyes.
Our eyes are the most precious senses of them all. Be careful at work and use protective eyewear to preserve your vision for the long run.