There are more eye injuries than you think. Eye injuries are in almost every industry, and 40% of them are from the construction, manufacturing, and mining industries. An estimated $300 million a year is spent on lost productivity, medical care, and workers’ compensation due to eye injuries.
For Eye Injury Prevention Month in October, your workplace should be a place where employees can protect their eyes while working and still perform their duties with ease. Here are a few tips to prevent eye injuries at work that can be helpful to you and your colleagues.
1. Assess Eye Safety Hazards at Work
Employers must take the necessary precautions to ensure their employees do not get eye injuries. This includes knowing what hazards may be present in your work space and understanding how you can protect you and your employees from injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific eye safety standards for general industry, construction, and maritime workers which is why a thorough hazard assessment of any potential hazards is a critical step in selecting the right eye protection and guarantee workplace safety
2. Get Protective Eyewear
If you work with hazardous materials or do hazardous activities, make sure your employees wear the correct eyewear for the job. American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved, OSHA-compliant safety glasses are essential if your workplace has hazards like broken glass, falling objects (including tools), chemicals, including welding with harmful radiation waves. If you work around lasers or fiber optics, be sure to wear special protective safety goggles made specifically for those types of hazards.
3. Remind Employees to Rest Their Eyes
Overuse of digital screens (computer, tablets, phones) can result in aeye and vision-related problems including eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes. Your employees should take a break for their eyes if they work in front of computer monitors and digital screens constantly. To help ensure that people do not get eye strain, remind them to take a 20 second break every 20 minutes by looking away from their desk or computer screen at an object 20 feet away.
Ensure Your Employees’ Eye Safety at All Times
Occupational safety and health is a major concern for most people. It’s important to remember that your eyes are just as valuable as the rest of your body. By ensuring your employees are safe from an eye injury, you can also make sure they are able to provide quality customer service or manufacturing output throughout each day. The quality of service and products everyone builds in the workplace depends on having healthy eyesight.