October Is Eye Injury Prevention Month

Eye Safety Month

October has been deemed Eye Injury Prevention Month by The American Academy of Ophthalmology. Nearly half of all eye injuries that occur usually happen in or around our homes. Almost all eye injuries are preventable by wearing proper-fitting safety eyewear, but many don’t realize how many of our everyday tasks can cause these injuries. Furthermore, workplace eye injuries are addressed by OSHA requirements for most businesses. Be sure to seek out your “EHS – Environmental Health & Safety” officer at your workplace. If your workplace does not have an EHS manager simply speak with your HR department to ask about the recommended Personal Protection Equipment offered by your employer.

Common Injuries At Home

No matter how your eye injury occurs, it can be painful, irritating, and costly. You might be out in the yard, on a walk, or inside cleaning. Here are a few risks you may encounter at home where you can wear safety eyewear:

  • Mowing the lawn
  • Cutting down tree limbs
  • Clipping bushes
  • Using power tools to drill, cut, or grind
  • Dusting your home, wiping down objects, or sweeping the floor
  • Using any chemicals to clean your home
  • Using chemicals to treat your yard or garden

Injuries At The Workplace

There are 300,000 Americans sent to the hospital every year due to workplace eye injuries. 90% of these injuries are preventable with the right protection. OSHA requires most employers to provide the appropriate PPE for their employees based on the hazards associated with the job function and environment.

When it comes to safety eyewear OSHA defers to the ANSI Z87.1 standards. These standards include high mass and velocity impact testing, frontal & lateral eye coverage requirements, as well as dust & chemical protection ratings and marking instructions to help identify the appropriate eyewear for the job. During an employee’s hiring process, they should be notified about all work hazards and provided the appropriate PPE as per OSHA requirements. They may very well include prescription safety eyewear which your employer may cover the cost of.

But if employees aren’t wearing their PPE, including proper fitting prescription safety eyewear, the consequence could be their vision! Furthermore, the employer can suffer fines from OSHA and increased scrutiny after workplace injuries are reported. Here are some industries that have the most eye injuries:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Automotive
  • Healthcare

If you or someone you know works in these industries, you might want to talk about vision protection on the job. Also, it is highly recommended to report any damaged or improperly fitting PPE to your supervisor. For example, a cracked lens in your safety eyewear is now structurally compromised and is no longer suitable for impact protection.

Take the time to think about the tasks you perform at work and home. If you think you should be wearing safety eyewear, talk to one of our representatives at SafeVision. We have a wide range of prescription or non-prescription safety eyewear to choose from for any task. Also, be sure to ask your employer if they have a prescription safety eyewear program. SafeVision also specializes in managing these programs for employers if your business is frustrated by the current options.

For more information on eye safety and protection information, visit the sites below.

OSHA

The Centers for Disease Control

U.S. Department of Labor.

Together we can bring more awareness to the prevention of eye injuries!

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