How many eye injuries happen in the workplace every year? Thousands.
And that number is just based on reported eye injuries, not all eye injuries. Many eye injuries in the workplace go unreported because they are too minor to be considered an injury and it’s not worth taking time off work for a “little” eye injury.
However, these little eye injuries can lead to big problems down the line if they’re left untreated. This blog will focus on these tips for preventing eye injury in the workplace.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Get an Eye Exam
It is a great idea for eye safety in the workplace to get your eyes checked regularly, even if you don’t have problems with your vision.
If there are no eye issues present, it’s still important from time to time because sometimes eye strain can build up over time and lead to conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma later on.
2. Get the right eyewear
If you’re looking for eye protection in the workplace, make sure to get safety glasses that do their job.
If your eyes are exposed to hazardous materials or dangerous machinery on a regular basis at work, it’s important for those eyewears to be high-quality and meet all of the necessary requirements set by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
Don’t underestimate how much proper eyewear can help reduce injury risk.
Just one small shard from broken glass could shatter an unprotected lens into hundreds of pieces if they aren’t strong enough.
That is why good quality lenses such as polycarbonate will hold up better than standard plastic lenses when faced with an impact like this.
3. Know the risks
Even with proper eyewear, there is still a chance of injury.
Some materials are more likely to cause damage than others even if they aren’t hazardous on their own.
Gases, for example, are often used in laboratories and can be dangerous when combined with other chemicals or heated up too far past room temperature.
While safety glasses will protect you from dusts and chunks that might fly into your eyes while working on something like this without protection, gases pose another threat because they could seep through the lenses over time due to pressure changes.
4. Stay alert
Be aware of your surroundings.
If you are working with hazardous materials, it’s important to be alert for any signs that might indicate the presence of something dangerous such as a gas leak or electrical current running through water.
There is also an added benefit to wearing safety glasses in this situation.
Since many people don’t think about their eyes when they’re concentrating on another task, those who wear them since before beginning work will naturally stay more focused and less likely to become distracted by anything else around them than someone who does not have protection yet.
It’s just one way that eye protection can help improve overall workplace safety for everyone involved.
5. Keep safety glasses clean
Another way to help prevent injury is by making sure your safety glasses are clean, especially if they are used more than once.
Even the tiniest bit of dirt or oil on a lens can make it difficult for you to see properly which increases the chance that something could go wrong with whatever task you’re doing.
Just remember not to use harsh chemicals when cleaning them because this can damage lenses and cause chemical burns in some cases depending on what was being used.
Instead, use warm water and mild soap along with lint-free cloths designed specifically for eyewear care or microfiber clothes made for sensitive surfaces like these so as not to scratch them up too much over time.
If they still look cloudy after cleaning, it might be time to replace them.
Even if they aren’t damaged per se by harsh chemicals or sharp objects, drops and other types of damage can cause lenses to warp over time so that focusing on things becomes harder than before which is why regular replacement is necessary for optimal vision protection overall in the workplace.
Working with hazardous materials such as lead paint or asbestos means having the right safety equipment but this doesn’t just stop at eye protection because there are countless dangers out there that you could face without even realizing it until an injury has already occurred.
6. Know your limits
If you are having trouble seeing clearly while wearing your eyewear, then it’s time to stop work for the day or take a break.
Even if everything seems fine at first glance, that could change in an instant without warning which is why stopping before something does go wrong can save you from injury altogether since there won’t be any down-time later on when symptoms start making themselves known after the fact.
The best way to prevent problems like this would be by knowing how long you can safely wear safety glasses for depending on what tasks they’re being used with and only taking breaks as needed instead of pushing yourself too hard overall because otherwise things will get worse over time rather than better.
Regular eye exams are also a good idea because they can help to diagnose any existing problems with your eyes or determine if you are at risk for developing another condition later on.
7. Know your own eyes
The human eye is complex and there’s still a lot that we don’t fully understand about it even today which means that knowing how to take care of yours properly is important for both your vision health as well as the overall safety on-the-job.
If you already wear glasses or contacts, then wearing protection over them can help prevent additional damage from occurring because they will remain in place instead of being knocked loose if something goes wrong during the course of work.
If this is not an option though, whether due to cost or another reason, then steps should be taken to protect eyes by other methods such as sunglasses when working outside so long as they are rated UV protection otherwise harmful sun rays could enter through unprotected parts of the eyes.
Knowing your limits is also important because that’s how you’ll know when to stop for the day, take a break or seek medical attention if something does happen even though it might be tempting to push yourself further than what is safe overall in terms of protecting vision health and wellness as well as preventing injury on-the-job.
That way, both you and everyone else around you can benefit from knowing where those limits are exactly.