We often forget that our day-to-day work can easily harm our eyes. We rely on them for almost everything we do, from reading emails to handling heavy tools. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2,000 U.S. workers get hurt in their eyes every single day because of work-related accidents, especially eye injuries in the workplace. Using the right eye protection could have prevented many of these accidents.
Imagine a regular workday when you accidentally got a chemical in your eye or a tiny thing scratched your eye. These things happen more often than you’d think. But it’s not just chemicals and small objects that can hurt your eyes. Exposure to very hot steam or certain types of light can also hurt your eyes badly.
Some jobs, like healthcare, lab work, and janitorial work, have an extra sneaky danger. You can catch diseases through your eyes while doing these jobs. These diseases can get into your eyes through splashes of blood, tiny drops from someone coughing, or by touching your eyes with dirty hands or objects.
A lot of these injuries happen for two main reasons. Either people aren’t wearing the right kind of eye protection, or they’re not wearing any at all. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that almost three out of five workers who got eye injuries weren’t wearing eye protection when it happened. Many of them thought they didn’t need it for what they were doing.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says to use eye and face protection when there’s a good chance you could get hurt if you don’t. This includes goggles, face shields, safety glasses, or full-face respirators. What you need depends on what kind of danger you’re facing, the situation, what other safety gear you’re using, and what you need for your eyes.
Here are the most common eye injuries in the workplace and how to avoid them.
The cornea, the eye’s outer layer, can get scratched by small debris or dust particles. Workers in construction, woodworking, and metalworking are particularly susceptible. Avoid this injury by wearing protective eyewear, such as safety glasses or goggles, in environments where debris is common.
This occurs when blood vessels break, causing a red patch on the eye’s surface. Strain can lead to this condition, like lifting heavy objects or forcefully rubbing the eye. While usually not serious, seek medical attention if the red patch persists or causes pain.
Also known as a “black eye,” this happens when the tissue around the eye swells and bruises due to blunt trauma. Even workplaces with heavy machinery can be prone to such incidents. Adequate eye protection, like z87 prescription safety glasses, can help prevent this injury.
Foreign objects, such as metal shards, can embed themselves in the eye, causing pain, vision changes, bleeding, and more. It’s essential to avoid attempting to remove the object and seek immediate medical attention in such cases.
Hazardous chemicals potentially harm the eyes, causing irritation, redness, and even burns. Ensure you have high-quality safety goggles or sealed safety glasses that protect against chemical splashes and dust. Remember to flush your eyes with water immediately if chemicals come into contact with them.
Inflammation of the iris can result from various causes, including trauma, chemical exposure, and particle contact. Symptoms include eye pain, redness, light sensitivity, and vision changes. Getting help from a doctor quickly is very important to prevent permanent damage or blindness.
Blunt facial trauma can lead to bleeding between the cornea and the iris, causing pain, redness, blurry vision, and light sensitivity. Adequate eye protection with high impact resistance is vital in environments with potential injuries.
Prioritize Your Eye Safety
Don’t leave your eye safety to chance. Protect yourself from workplace hazards with the best prescription safety glasses tailored to your needs. Investing in the right eye protection can prevent or reduce the risk of common eye injuries in the workplace.
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