Do You Know These Hazards to the Eyes in Your Workplace?

Have you ever calculated how many hours you often spend in your workplace every day? Some people may answer they stay in the office for 8 hours a day. Some may usually travel on the way to their customers. Whatever job you are doing currently, there are usually potential hazards to the eyes in your workplace. To raise the awareness of such hazards and remind the employers and employees to pay high attention to the eye care, March has been defined as Workplace Eye Wellness Month.

workplace eye wellness month

Workplace Eye Wellness Month

According to the information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2000 American employees suffer work-related eye injuries every day that necessitate medical attention. More than 100 of these injuries necessitate one or more days away from work, and about one-third of the injuries need to be treated in hospital emergency rooms. Those eye injuries usually happen in a working environment that requires tools or construction. Dust, metal pieces, chemicals, and sharp nails can all be considered the risk that causes permanent vision loss.

protect the eyes during workCompared with outdoor risks, the potential harms to the eyes in the offices often come from electronic products like mobile phones or computers, or radiation from certain facilities in factories or medical places. Considering indoor and outdoor latent dangers to the eyes, developing the awareness of eye protection in the workplace becomes essential. The good news is that most eye injuries and eye strain situations are preventable with certain measures, and the intention of the Workplace Eye Wellness Month is to spread these relevant knowledges. In the following chapters, we will discuss specifically the hazards to the eyes in your workplace, trying to help you avoid them, and also, listing suggestions to protect your eyes.

What are the Hazards to the Eyes in your Workplace?

As it’s mentioned above, underlying hazards to the eyes exist in the workplace whether it’s indoors or outdoors. In outdoor circumstances, the risks to the eyes usually lead to eye injuries and the possibility of losing vision forever. Meanwhile, hazards to the eyes in the indoor workplace are often ignored, which can negatively result in the eyes to different extents.

Hazards to the eyes in the outdoor workplace

Basically, the symptoms of eye injury in the outdoor workplace can come in three ways: blunt injury, penetration, and ultraviolet radiation. Take the building site as an example, the majority of eye injuries happen on the site because of external factors. Heavy and sharp tools make bad consequences if used improperly. Small objects like dust or metal pieces might be bounced into the eyes through the edges of the tools. Also, the big tools themselves can fall on the faces and cause trauma to the eyes.

hazards to the eyes in the outdoor workplaceAdditionally, sharp objects show a high frequency on the building sites which directly demonstrates a risk of penetrating hurts, indicating another way of eye trauma in the outdoor workplace. The penetration through the eyes could badly injure the eyeball and even hurt the brain as a consequence. This kind of way of getting hurt not only looks horrible but also can cause serious damage indeed. Combing all these factors, wearing helmets and goggles are usually highly demanded on almost all the construction sites.

The harm of ultraviolet radiation to the eyes has been mentioned repeatedly. Long-term exposure to the light makes irreversible damage to the eyes and it often happens in summer under the strong sunlight. The harmful ultraviolet radiation of sunlight is intangible and comes from the nature so people are used to ignoring this form of eye injury in the workplace. Plus, you can have more information about the negative impacts of ultraviolet radiation on the eyes in the article: Keep Your Eyes Healthy in the Summer: Stay Away From Visual Problems.

Hazards to the eyes in the indoor workplace

The hazards to the eyes can generally vary in different situations: in offices, factories, or medical places. Staring at the digital screens is a common situation for persons working in offices and it’s usually unavoidable. Excessive use of eyes in the office can cause eye conditions like eye strain or dry eye syndrome. The damage to the eyes in the office might be more slight compared with eye trauma, however, the harm to the eyes in this case is more potential and can also lead to severe results if ignoring the uncomfortable symptoms of the eyes for a long time.

hazards to the eyes in the indoor workplaceThe hazards to the eyes in the factories are similar to the outdoor situations. Improper use of the tools, dust or industrial pieces, and furthermore, chemical burns, all need to be taken into account when discussing the hazards to the eyes. Although factories always provide strict operating regulations and qualified equipment, eye injuries still happen under the circumstances. To some extent, people who are familiar with the working process in factories are more likely to ignore the importance of eye safety as they might think they are quite skilled, and it’s never advisable.

How to Protect Your Eyes in the Workplace

Regarding different kinds of working environments, the measures of eye protection in the workplace are suggested in various ways.

Wear eye protection equipment

wear eye protections in the workplaceFor people who work outdoors or in the special places like factories, eye protection equipment should be emphasized in order to avoid external damage to the eyes. As it’s mentioned above, eye trauma can lead to permanent vision loss and even hurt the brain. Wearing eye protection equipment shall always be crucial. The equipment might include goggles, protective masks, helmets, and some other professional outfits. It’s hard to avoid hazards to the eyes in these workplaces totally, thus, wearing eye protection equipment becomes essential to prevent most of the injuries.

Keep the moistness of the eyes

keep moistness of the eyes in the workplaceLimiting screen time, paying attention to blinking the eyes, or using eye drops, all mean to keep the moistness of the eyes. Digital eye strain in the office is usually a common eye condition, and according to the symptoms of digital eye strain, maintaining the moistness of the eyes is also the key to relieving eye strain symptoms. Furthermore, the 20-20-20 rule is always recommended for the employees in the offices. These kinds of methods are suitable for all the workers who need to work with digital screens, read detailed texts, or stare at a certain place for a long time.

For more detailed measures to protect the eyes and prevent eye injury in the workplace, please visit: How to Prevent Eye Injuries and Vision Loss in the Workplace?

Both employers and employees have the responsibility to notice the issue of eye injury and care about eye health in the workplace, and it’s also what Workplace Eye Wellness Month aims to address. Risks to the eyes exist everywhere in the workplace. Therefore, making sure the eye protection in the workplace is crucial to keep eye health.


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