March is National Workplace Eye Wellness Month, so this is prime time to think about the different risks and possible eye injuries around your workplace.
Your eyes are priceless, and being knowledgeable of ways to protect them while at work can save them from harm, allowing you to continue your work safely and without fear of eye injury.
There are many ways to protect your eyes from damage, and to get you started on thinking about this, here are 4 tips for protecting your eyes at work.
Educate Yourself On Potential Dangers
Think about your workplace. What are you exposed to? Think about all the different things you work with and how they might be potentially harmful to your eyes.
Create a mental or physical list of all the things you need protection against – dust, sun, chemicals, shavings, etc. This can help you be more aware of all potential dangers, allowing you to expect them and be better prepared to avoid them.
If Possible, Eliminate Hazards
Are there any hazards you are exposed to that you could avoid? For example, even dust can cause eye irritation and potential damage, so frequently cleaning all surfaces that collect dust and other particles like metal shavings or saw dust can prevent an accident or eye injury.
Go through your list of exposures and determine which can be feasibly eliminated to keep you and your colleagues as safe as possible.
Use the Proper Eye Protection
In jobs where exposure to potentially eye-damaging materials is inevitable, the best line of defense for your eyes will always be proper eye protection with safety glasses and goggles.
There are all sorts of safety glasses available today ranging from cheap, non-prescription, options you can pick up from any hardware store to fully sealed, customized, prescription, safety glasses with indirect ventilation, replaceable temples, and additional accessories.
To simplify things, start by looking for styles that are marked with Z87+. This is a marking applied to safety glasses that meet high impact resistance standards per the America National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Fit is very important too. Safety glasses are meant to cover not only your eye but also the sensitive areas around them. So your safety glasses should fit snuggly and comfortably. There shouldn’t be any large gaps between your cheeks and the protective lenses and/or side shields.
Having the proper eye protection can be the difference between vision and irreversible eye damage, so be sure to always wear your safety eyewear if there are hazards.
Keep First Aid On Hand
In the event that an eye injury occurs, keeping a first aid kit and supplies available can serve as an initial and vital treatment that prevents the injury from getting worse.
Many first aid kits contain some form of eye drops specifically formulated to ease irritation from particles and minor exposures.
If an exposure if more serious, like a chemical or acid splash, it is best to use an emergency eyewash system. If your workplace does not have this available, it is worth petitioning to have one installed to prevent serious, long-term effects from exposure to harsh chemicals.
Remember to always seek medical assistance if an injury is serious, regardless of the initial treatment.
Stay Aware, Stay Safe
Being aware of the potential dangers to your eyes in your workplace and having protection and treatment in place for the event of a harmful exposure are vital to keeping you and your eyes safe.
Taking these steps can better prepare you for a situation in which this is possible, preventing long-term damage and preserving your precious eyes. Take all precautions and stay safe this month.
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