The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has dedicated March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month, advising that 90 percent of eye injuries on the job could have been avoided with proper eye protection.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 2,000 workers sustain occupational eye injuries that require medical attention every single day, 40 percent of which happen in the construction, manufacturing and mining industries.
Work-related eye injuries can happen in a variety of ways, from computer screen visual eye-strain to getting debris in the eye from grinding, sanding and hammering. Eye injuries also commonly occur from chemical-handling splashes, welding arc flash exposure, working in dusty conditions, or simply walking through a work zone without personal protective equipment (PPE).
Brenda Pagán-Durán, ophthalmologist and clinical spokesperson for AAO, stated in a press release, “It takes only a few seconds to protect yourself from eye-related issues that can cause vision problems. I can’t stress enough the importance of incorporating eye wellness into your daily routine; whether it’s simply adjusting the setting on your computer monitor, or wearing appropriate protection to avoid serious eye injury. This is truly an ounce of prevention that can safeguard your vision.”
The AAO strongly recommends wearing protective eyewear such as safety glasses or safety goggles for hazardous work; placing computer monitors 25 inches away to avoid eye strain; following the “20-20-20 rule” by looking at an object 20 feet away, every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds to give the eyes a much-needed rest from computer screens; reducing the glare on “blue screens” such as cellular or other digital devices; and adjusting the lighting near your workstation to ensure adequacy.
Source: Safety + Health Magazine