Taking a Good Look at Eye Safety

The eye is an amazing organ. Designed to react to light, the human eye can perceive depth and can distinguish approximately 10 million colors. Unfortunately, the eye is also very vulnerable. All it takes is a particle of dust, a splash of a chemical or a sliver of glass to cause significant and permanent eye damage.

Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, designated March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month in its fight to help people save their vision. Regardless of the date on the calendar, it’s never a bad time to think about eye protection.

Statistics suggest that more than 700,000 Americans injure their eyes at work each year and that close to one million people have lost some degree of their sight due to an eye injury. In turn, these injuries have resulted in more than $300 million in lost time, medical expenses and worker compensation.

Despite this discouraging data, the good news is that the majority of workplace eye injuries can be avoided by using proper safety eyewear. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide eye protection whenever necessary to protect workers against chemical, environmental, and radiological hazards or mechanical irritants.

Avoiding Eye Injury @ Work

Some hints for preventing an eye injury at industrial jobs include:

  • Make sure your protective equipment fits properly
  • Keep your eye protection clean to increase visibility
  • Use anti-dust and anti-fog sprays to help prevent buildup on the lenses
  • If you need prescription eyeglasses, your goggles should have prescription eyeglass lenses or you should wear extra protection over your prescription eyeglasses
  • If you wear contact lenses, wear eye protection equipment and be extra cautious around gases, vapors, fumes and dust
  • Plan for an emergency by being familiar with first-aid procedures appropriate for the injury such as flushing out your eye with water in the event of a chemical splash, not trying to remove anything from your eye in the case of flying particles and applying ice packs if your eye has received a blow.
Although certain fields of work carry a higher risk of eye injury from debris or chemicals, even office employees can suffer eye problems.

Computers & Eye Damage

The most common of these conditions is computer vision syndrome, caused by screen contrast, flicker and glare. Office workers who spend significant time in front of computer screens experience eye strain and undergo changes in tear fluid similar to people with dry eye disease. While computer screens do not permanently damage vision, they can cause blurred vision, double vision, eye irritation, headaches and neck or back pain. Suggestions for alleviating computer eye syndrome include taking frequent rest breaks, repositioning the computer screen so it is at eye level, changing your lighting, wearing glasses with an anti-reflective coating and using over-the-counter eye drops.

If you have received an eye injury at work, the Kentucky personal injury attorneys of the Johnson Law Firm can review your case and advise you whether you have grounds to seek financial compensation. Call us today at 606-433-0682 or fill out this contact form. We are proud to offer free initial case evaluations.

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