Eye Protection Work

Some workplaces feature elements that can be extremely hazardous to the eyes. Sparks from a welder, chemicals in cleaning products, sharp objects and bits of metal can all pose serious threats to your eyes.

However, no matter how dangerous your job may be, you can take steps to protect your eyes from injury. Read on to learn why certain people need to protect their eyes at work, what products can help keep eyes safe at work and what to do in the event of an eye injury.

Who is at Risk for On-the-Job Eye Injuries?

Some jobs are more dangerous to the eyes than others. While occupations that expose people to chemicals, sharp objects and radiation are obviously risky, so are jobs that expose people to bright lights for extended periods of time. Therefore, people who stare at a computer all day can be harming their eyes and can experience eye irritation or trauma.

Eye injuries often occur in revolving around:

  • construction
  • health care
  • janitorial work
  • laboratories
  • landscaping.

Common On-the-Job Eye Injuries

Eyes can experience a number of injuries in the workplace. However, the most common are:

  • Rubbing injuries occur when foreign matter rubs or scrapes the eye. Common culprits include metal chips, dirt particles and splinters.
  • Striking injuries occur whenthe eye area is struck by something heavy or sharp.

Avoiding Eye Injury at Work

You can do a number of things to protect your eyes at work.

  • Avoid contact lenses: Contacts don’t offer your eyes any protection from damage. In fact, if you are exposed to gases, vapors, fumes and/or dust in your workplace, it could be very dangerous to wear your contacts. Instead, consider wearing glasses while on the job.
  • Wear eyeglasses: Eyeglasses protect the eyes from both impact and radiation, especially when you invest in a pair that offers side shields.
  • Wear a face shield: Face shields with plastic or mesh windows are good for overall protection of the entire face, although they require safety glasses for maximum safety.
  • Wear goggles: Goggles offer great eye protection in the workplace.Flexible-fitting goggles with ventilation provide a cushion for the face and protect the sides, top and the bottom of your face. Welding goggles with filter lenses are the best pick for protection against glare and dangerous sparks.
  • Wear a welding helmet: Welding helmets are a must for anyone who welds or who works around welders. These helmets feature lift-front windows to help protect workers from the sparks of welding, soldering and brazing.

In Case of Eye Emergencies

Different kinds of eye emergencies call for different measures. These tips will help you in the event of a workplace eye emergency:

Chemical Splashes

  • Open your eyes: Avoid the instinct to squeeze your eyes shut. This only seals in the chemicals. Instead, hold the eye open with a thumb and index finger. Don’t try to neutralize the chemical with another one.
  • Flush with water: Use cool, clean water to flood the eyes for about 20 minutes.
  • Get help: Medical help is in order. Either have someone drive you to the hospital or call an ambulance. Try to have the chemical container or label handy so that the doctors will be able to determine exactly which chemicals were involved.

Objects Stuck in the Eye

  • Don’t extract anything: Don’t try to extract anything already embedded in the eye. While having an object stuck in your eye is frightening, you could imbed the object further but messing with it. Removing metal from an eye could cause more damage.
  • Get help: Medical help is in order. Either have someone drive you to the hospital or call an ambulance.

Burns and Radiation Injuries

  • Cool the area: Apply ice packs to your eyes.
  • Get help: Seek medical attention, either by having someone drive you to the hospital or by calling an ambulance.

Preventing Eyestrain

We can all relate to eyestrain. Computer glares and harsh interior lighting can all take a toll on the eyes. To prevent eyestrain, work with others to improve lighting on the job.

You should also give your eyes breaks throughout the day. If you have been staring at the computer for hours, walk away from it for a while. Most people recommend taking a five-minute break from the computer every hour. This will help prevent eye irritation and strain.