The first line of defense when it comes to work safety is wearing the proper protective gear.  One of the safety observances for the month of March has been workplace eye wellness month.  As it ends, chances are your employer has furnished its workers with information regarding the importance of wearing eye safety protection.

If you spend hours in front of a computer, work outdoors, or use power tools at your day job, it is always important to keep eye health and safety in mind because the gift of vision cannot be replaced. 

With more and more individuals depending on technology to accomplish tasks throughout the day, the risk of eye strain and its effects on vision become greater. This increased use of digital devices exposes workers to eye strain as they tend to spend long, uninterrupted amounts of time focusing on computer screens.  Take frequent breaks away from the screen and focus on other objects.
If your job requires the use of heavy machinery, wear either safety glasses or goggles. All it takes is a tiny sliver of metal, a particle of dust or a splash of chemical to cause significant or permanent eye damage. 

OSHA’s eye and face protection standard requires employers to “ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.”

Share these injury-prevention tips with managers and supervisors:

  • Regularly review and revise your policies, and set a goal of zero eye injuries.
  • Conduct regular vision testing, as uncorrected vision can cause accidents. 
  • Communicate the policy to employees and display a copy of your policy where employees can see it.
  • Make sure managers and executives set an example by wearing protective eyewear wherever it’s worn by other employees.
  • Make eye safety part of your employee training and new hire orientation. 
  • Look carefully at plant operations, work areas, access routes, and equipment. Study injury patterns to see where accidents are occurring.
  • Select protective eyewear based on specific duties or hazards.
  • Establish a mandatory eye protection program in all operation areas.
  • Have eyewear fitted by a professional.
  • Establish first-aid procedures for eye injuries, and make eyewash stations available, especially where chemicals are in use.

It’s also a good time to remind employees of off-the-job eye hazards such as cooking accidents, yard work, chemical splashes from cleaners and fertilizers, do-it-yourself work on cars and homes, and sports injuries.

We hope that during this month of March, you are more encouraged about taking good care of your eyes.  Make every month “Workplace Eye Wellness Month!”  And remember to get an annual eye examination.




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