Is your job putting your eyes at risk? You may not realize it, but many jobs—even those that seem fairly safe such as sitting at a desk all day—could potentially be hazardous for your eyes. In fact, you’d probably be astounded to know that 10,000,000 Americans visit an eye doctor each year due to problems they are experiencing as a result of computer use. Unsurprisingly, there are also other jobs that present a much more obvious risk to your eyes, such as gardening, woodworking, welding, working with chemicals and others.
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month and we are committed to helping patients understand the potential workplace hazards they may encounter as well as what they can do to keep their eyes safe. This could prevent you from being one of the 800,000 Americans estimated to experience a work-related eye injury *this year*, and more importantly, one of the 1,000,000 *Americans* who have lost some degree of sight *due to a workplace* eye injury.
Be hazard aware
Your eyes are your responsibility and one of the best ways to keep them safe is by being aware of the potential dangers surrounding you. If you are working with anything that could fly into your eyes, you need to take steps to prevent this from happening. By keeping your workspace clean and tidy, ensuring your tools work properly and using the right eye protection, you can drastically reduce your risk of a workplace eye injury.
Choose the right eye protection
If you work in an environment where there is any degree of risk to your eyes, you need to ensure you are wearing the appropriate eye protection. 270,000 workplace accidents could be avoided each year simply by wearing eye protection. There are several different types available, and it is essential that you choose the right option based on what you are working with. For example, if you are handling chemicals—in addition to wearing protective gloves—you should also be wearing goggles which will fully protect your eyes by covering them completely. Other jobs, such as welding, will require eye protection that is combined with a face shield to offer the best protection. If you aren’t sure which eye protection is right for you, our team would be happy to advise you.
Keep your concentration
Any task that has the potential to cause injury requires your full attention at all times. While it can be tempting to multitask to save time, the truth is that it simply isn’t worth the risk. By staying focused and avoiding distractions, you stand a far better chance of not being one of the 2.4 million people who suffer a workplace eye injury each year.
If you were asthmatic, you wouldn’t leave home without your inhaler, so why should protecting your eye health be any different? If you are performing a job where there is any degree of risk to your eyes, be prepared by keeping eyewash on hand, should you need it. It also pays to have our office contact number stored in your phone so you can contact us in the event of an eye emergency.
Schedule your annual eye exams
Unsurprisingly, eye accidents are less likely if your vision is clear, to begin with. There are many things that can affect the quality of our eyesight, from refractive errors to eye diseases. By receiving regular, comprehensive eye exams, our team will ensure your eyes and vision are in the best condition, to begin with. We can also talk to you about any eye risks associated with your job and help you to choose the most effective eye protection based on your individual needs.
Don’t become a statistic this March—start protecting your eyes at work today. Call Grin Eye Care for more information, or schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Olathe, Leawood or any of our satellite offices.