We’re about to enter the time of year when we have the most daylight. It’s a good time to remind workers that if they don’t use proper eye protection, they may not be able to enjoy seeing that extra daylight.
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month.
This infographic from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) lays out the impact of workers not using proper eye protection:
The AAO also has these tips for avoiding eye injuries at work:
- Workers should wear protective eye gear whenever they could be near flying debris, falling objects, chemicals, and intense light and/or heat
- One group of workers that should always wear protective eye gear: welders, who can suffer UV radiation burns (welder’s flash), which damage the eyes and surrounding tissues, and
- Protective eye gear should be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and also be OSHA compliant.
Workers also need to know what to do (and what not to do) if they or a co-worker suffer an eye injury. If an eye has been cut or punctured:
- don’t remove an object stuck in the eye (leave that for medical professionals)
- don’t rinse with water
- don’t rub or apply pressure
- don’t take aspirin or ibuprofen for pain as this can thin the blood and may increase bleeding
- do gently place a shield over the eye (you can use the bottom of a paper cup taped to the forehead and cheek bone), and
- do get to a doctor immediately.
For a chemical eye burn, immediately flush the eye with lots of clean water and seek medical treatment quickly.
When something has struck the eye, don’t apply pressure. Do gently apply a small cold compress to reduce swelling. If there is bruising, pain or visual change, see an ophthalmologist immediately.
For small debris (dust or sand) in the eye: don’t rub the eye. Do use an eyewash to flush out the eye. If the debris doesn’t come out, see an ophthalmologist.