MARCHING IN LIKE A LION FOR 2010

by Doug on March 1, 2010

After the winter we have experienced in the United States, let’s hope that the month of March might start off like a lamb rather than a lion!  But it doesn’t look that way, according to the latest weather predictions.  There are many things to talk about coming up in March.

March is the month to recognize Workplace Eye Safety and Health Month.  January was National Eye Care Month, and we hope you read our piece “Two Things You Must Protect”, because it offers statistics on injuries to the eyes and the causes of the injuries.  We have focused on eye protection in several other articles, but we cannot stress enough the importance of wearing safety glasses, goggles, or side shields on your glasses, or wraparound safety glasses when working in areas where impacts could happen or foreign objects could get into your eyes.

Prevent Blindness America reports that workplace eye injuries account for 94,500 people being treated in U.S. hospitals annually.

Again, we will present their chart showing types of causes of eye injuries:

Product Categories Est’d Injuries Per Year
Tools (power,portable,manual, other)                    19,458
Welding Equipment                                                          15,338
Adhesives                                                                               5,733
Bleaches (non-cosmetic)                                                  5,580
House Repair/Construction                                            4,476
Lawn Mowers                                                                         4,388
Paints, Varnishes,Shellacs,Removers                         3,434
Chemicals                                                                                3,350

Here are some suggestions from last year’s article “March is Workplace Eye Safety and Health Month”, in case of an accident:

  • For specks in eye: try to wash out with tears or eyewash.  If this doesn’t help, keep eye closed, bandaged loosely and see physician.
  • For foreign objects in eye: it may be necessary to seek emergency medical assistance if it cannot be flushed with eyewash or removed with a moistened cotton swab.  Cover the eye and seek emergency medical attention.  If it is removed, flush with lukewarm water or saline solution.
  • Liquid chemicals or sprays in eye need to be flooded with clean water immediately, continuously, and gently for 15 minutes.  Keep eye open as wide as possible, and see a physician.  If possible, take label or container to physician.  Use spray cans carefully, as they are an increased source of chemical eye injuries.
  • Blows to the eye: apply cold compress for 15 minutes and each hour thereafter.  Discoloration or blackening could mean internal damage; a doctor needs to examine it.
  • Cuts or punctures of eye or eyelid need to be bandaged; seek medical help immediately.  Do not wash out or try to remove object.

We don’t realize how valuable the gift of vision is until it’s too late! Protect those eyes!

{ 2 comments }

1 Jamie Ross March 2, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Those are some worrying statistics, but some great advice!

For those of you who do workplace safety observations, then think about focussing you observations this month on Eye Care / Eye Protection in keeping with the theme for March.

One of my weekly safety observation topic posts was on a slightly different way to approach your safety observations regarding eye protection: http://www.miningman.com/mining-man/2010/01/this-weeks-safety-observation-topic-brain-protection.html

Thanks,
Jamie

2 Pat Brownlee March 9, 2010 at 10:26 am

Jamie, thank you for your comment regarding eye protection. I read your post and it was a great suggestion – that our eyes protect our brain! I will subscribe to your website and hope to exchange ideas with you. Pat Brownlee
(I write articles for our site.)

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