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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cholakova

Preventing Eye Injuries at Work

Updated: May 21, 2023

Do you know how to protect yourself and your team from eye injuries at work? Our eyes are some of the most important and vulnerable sensory organs. Preserving them should be a top priority, especially in the place of employment. Workplace eye injuries are quite common, and they can cause severe damage that could lead to painful conditions and even temporary or permanent vision loss.


Still, there are several effective steps that you can take to prevent eye injuries at work. We will outline them in this article and give you advice on how to efficiently improve your safety policies at work.


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Construction worker putting on safety goggles

8 Tips to Prevent Eye Injuries in the Workplace


Eye injuries at work are a common occurrence and can range from minor irritation to severe trauma. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 2,000 workers suffer eye injuries every day in the United States alone.


However, many of these injuries are preventable by identifying the risks and taking steps to eliminate or reduce them. Here are some of the important tips for preventing eye injuries in the workplace:


1. Identify Workplace Hazards

The first step in preventing eye injuries at work is to identify potential hazards in your workplace. Some common hazards include flying debris, chemical splashes, radiation, and bright flashes. Once you know what these are, you can take the necessary steps to shield your eyes.



2. Wear Protective Eyewear

One of the most effective ways to protect your eyes on the job is to wear the right protective eyewear. Appropriate eye protection may include safety glasses, goggles, helmets, or face shields, depending on the nature of the hazards in your workplace.

  • Safety glasses are best for protecting against flying objects or particles

  • Goggles are ideal for protection against chemicals, gases, or vapors

  • Face shields and helmets provide additional protection for the face and head

It is crucial to choose eye protection that suits the job and provides adequate coverage. The employer should be the one to provide appropriate protective eyewear and ensure that it fits properly and is comfortable.


3. Follow Safety Procedures

Another essential step in preventing eye injuries at work is to follow the safety procedures and guidelines. Employers should enforce safety rules and regulations and provide regular safety training to employees. This can include training on the proper handling of equipment, hazardous materials, and emergency procedures.


Wearing appropriate protective equipment, following safe work practices, and using machinery and equipment correctly are key. As a worker, you need to make sure that you understand and follow all safety procedures, and if you are unsure, ask your supervisor for clarification. That is critical in preventing eye injuries in the workplace and maintaining a safe work environment.



Cleaner maid wearing face shield to protect her eyes and prevent eye injury at work

4. Promote a Clean Work Environment

Good housekeeping is essential for maintaining a safe work environment. Keeping the work area clean and organized might prevent tripping hazards, slips, and falls. It could also prevent objects from falling or rolling onto the floor, which can cause eye injuries. Workers should receive training to keep their work area clean and tidy, and to report any hazards or unsafe conditions to their supervisor.


5. Be Mindful of Chemical Hazards

Chemical hazards pose a risk of serious eye injuries, including burns and irritation. People who handle chemicals should wear appropriate eye protection, such as goggles or face shields. Furthermore, it is necessary to educate workers on the proper handling and storage of chemicals to prevent accidents.



6. Be Cautious Around Machinery

Machinery is capable of inflicting severe eye injuries. That's why workers should acquire training on the proper use of the tools and should wear appropriate eye protection when needed. Additionally, workers should be cautious around moving machinery and should never remove machine guards or operate equipment that is not in good condition.


7. Maintain Good Eye Health

Maintaining good eye health is also an essential step in preventing eye injuries at work. Taking care of your eyes means getting regular eye exams, eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and avoiding smoking. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure that your prescription is up-to-date, and that your eyewear fits properly.


wood worker preventing eye injuries at work by wearing safety eyewear

8. Know the Signs and Report Eye Injuries at Work Immediately

Knowing the signs of eye injuries at work is crucial in order to prevent further damage. It is necessary to train workers on the signs of eye injury, which can include pain, redness, swelling, or blurred vision.


If you or your colleague do sustain an eye injury in the workplace, it's essential to report it immediately to your supervisor or safety manager. Delaying treatment is likely to cause more damage and may even result in vision loss. Seek medical attention right away, and make sure to follow your doctor's instructions for recovery.



Preventing eye injuries in the workplace is crucial for preserving eye health. By taking the steps in this article, you can protect your eyes and enjoy clear, comfortable vision in the future. Learn more about eye care in Ophthalmology24's patient blog.


Resources:

All medical facts and statements are checked by Atanas Bogoev M.D.

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