Tag Archives: eye safety



Spend the Fourth of July with Friends and Family This Year, Not in the Emergency Room

Prevent Blindness America Urges the Public to Celebrate Safely, Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

June/July are Fireworks Safety Months 

Nearly 6,000 Americans spent part of their Fourth of July holiday in the emergency room in 2009 due to fireworks injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a report issued in 2011.  Of those, fireworks caused an estimated 1,600 eye injuries. The injuries included contusions, lacerations and foreign bodies in the eye.  Some injuries even caused permanent vision loss.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, “safe and sane” fireworks cause more injuries than illegal fireworks, especially to preschool children.  For children under the age of 5, half of the total injuries were from sparklers. Children ages 15 and younger make up a significant number of fireworks injuries, accounting for 39 percent. 

Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety organization, supports the development and enforcement of bans on the importation, sale and use of all fireworks and sparklers, except for authorized public displays by competent licensed operators. The non-profit group believes it is the only effective means of eliminating the social and economic impact of fireworks-related trauma and damage. 

If there are specks in the eye,

  • DO NOT rub the eye.
  • Use an eye wash or let tears wash out specks or particles;
  • Lift the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid;
  • If the speck doesn’t wash out, keep the eye closed, bandage and see a doctor or go to the emergency room.

If the eye or eyelid is cut or punctured,

  • DO NOT wash out the eye with water.
  • DO NOT try to remove an object stuck in the eye.

Cover the eye with a rigid shield without pressure.  The bottom half of a paper cup may be used.  Seek medical help immediately.

“We encourage everyone to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday this year without using consumer fireworks,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America.  “Whether you’re attending community events, family picnics or public displays by fireworks professionals, we wish you and your family a safe Independence Day.”

Suggestions for fun options rather than doing fireworks include everything from face-painting, to making patriotic desserts, to creating glow-in-the-dark t-shirts and hats with special paints and markers.  If it’s noise they want, let them create their own instruments with pots and pans.  Have a first aid kit handy.

For more information on fireworks safety, call (800) 331-2020 or log on to preventblindness.org.


All safety observances are important – one deserves as much attention as the other.  The month of April recognizes many, and today we want to focus on two of them.  April is National Youth Sports Safety Month, as well as Sports Eye Safety Month.  It seems fitting that we can talk about both of them today. 

Last September, the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute was launched.  The executive director of this institute is Michael Bergeron, Ph.D., FACSM.  Dr. Bergeron states, “there has been a disturbing trend in the youth sports industry – we are seeing an increase in injuries that have never been seen before in children and teens: over-use/stress-induced, and concussions.  Over the last two months, 14 kids have already died – half from heat-related causes, the other half from cardiac issues; it used to be that 2-3 kids died each year.  Something needs to change.”  The goals of this program include collecting research, developing new education strategies and educating parents, coaches, trainers, and physicians.  

Four “pillars” that will come under the Institute:

  • Unique Clinical Conditions in Youth Athletic Populations (e.g., Type 1 diabetes, eating disorders, sudden cardiac trauma)
  • Concussion/mild traumatic brain injury
  • Heat illness and injury
  • Overuse/overload and injury risk. 

Other Sports Injury Facts from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and Safe Kids USA: 

  • More than half of all sports injuries happen at practice.  Despite this fact, one-third of parents often do not take the same safety precautions during their child’s practices as they would for a game.
  • More than 3.5 million children ages 14 and under receive medical treatment for sports injuries annually.
  • Injuries associated with sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.
  • Overuse injury is responsible for almost half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.  Immature bones, insufficient rest after an injury and poor training or conditioning contribute to overuse injuries among children.
  • Children ages 5 to 14 account for almost 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments.  The rate and severity of sports-related injury increases with a child’s age. 

Sports Eye Safety Information: 

In the United States,  more than 100,000 physician visits per year are because of eye injuries from sports.  Basketball and baseball cause the most eye injuries, followed by water sports and racket sports.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Opthalmology strongly recommend protective eyewear for all participants in sports where there is risk of eye injury.  Appropriate protective eyewear for sports should be chosen after consultation from an ophthalmologist, optometrist, optician, physician or athletic trainer.  Only two types of eyewear are satisfactory for sports protective eyewear:

  1. Safety sports eyewear that conforms to the requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard F803 for selected sports.
  2. Sports eyewear that is attached to a helmet or for sports in which ASTM standard F803 is inadequate; those include specifications for youth baseball batters and base runners, paintball, skiing, and ice hockey.  Other protectors with specific standards are available for football and men’s lacrosse. 

Parents and athletes should know about the risks associated with playing sports and the availability of a variety of certified sports eye protectors.  

Important Advice for Coaches and Parents: 

Most coaches in youth sports are volunteers.  It is important that at least one coach has training in CPR.  There should also be a first aid kit handy, just in case of an accident.  It is important for parents and coaches to remember that first of all, sports should be fun for the kids.  Many times, too much pressure is put on kids to excel in their choice of sport.  Ninety-five percent of youths who play sports in high school are through with sports when they graduate.  Only five percent of student athletes go on to play college sports.  

Nothing pleases a child more than having their parents and grandparents watch them participate in sports, music, or whatever their chosen activity is.  Support them and be sure that if they are playing sports, all safety measures are taken;  most of all, have fun!

Sources: Fox News; National Eye Institute (Unite for Sight); National Center for Sports Safety


Guest Blog
America’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, Prevent Blindness America, reminds us that October is designated as Home Eye Safety Awareness Month.  Of the 2.5 million eye injuries that occur every year, more than half happen within or around the home.  According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma, the most common place of injury is the yard or garden.  Home repair and/or the use of power tools in the home cause one in four eye injuries, as well.

“When doing everyday chores around the house or repair work in the garage, we can become complacent about remembering to use the proper eye protection,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America.  “But, we must remember that an eye injury that can occur in a split second can have lifelong impact on vision.”  Protective eyewear that has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) should always be worn before doing any home or car repair, or during any other activity that could be potentially dangerous to the eyes. 

Another tip for avoiding eye injuries is to provide effective lighting in your home.  Better light reduces eye strain and also improves safety in the home, especially when stairways are well lit, or in areas where good light can reduce the risk of falls and other injuries.  Rehabmart offers a wide variety of table and floor lamps to help you better illuminate your home.  The Daylight Slimline Magnifying Lamp is a perfect choice for those who may have already suffered some vision loss as well as for those who want to help prevent vision loss.     

The Daylight bulb technology in this uniquely stylish lamp helps to reduce eye strain and improves the contrast of what you are looking at, helping you to see more clearly.  The flicker-free and low-heat technology soothes you and your eyes for hours, while you use 80% less energy compared to conventional lighting choices.  You additionally have the option of adding on a table base or floor stand, converting this lamp to your own needs and specifications.  The Daylight Slimline Magnifying Lamp also includes two easily changeable 5 inch glass magnifying lenses to help you see tiny details more clearly, making this the perfect choice for anyone who does beading, sewing or other detailed crafts.

 Many people may be familiar with ‘Eye Wash Stations” in their workplace, but few think about the importance of having this available in their homes as well.  Yet keeping eye washes on hand and ready to use at home can mean the difference between a temporary eye problem and lifelong vision loss, especially considering how more than half of all eye injuries occur in the home. 
Vision and eye health are important and everyone should take care of their eyes by getting regular eye check ups and screenings with their ophthalmologist.  The Prevent Blindness America organization also sponsors many screenings and vision programs for low-income children and adults who might not otherwise have access to this health care and prevention.  Rehabmart celebrates Home Eye Safety Awareness Month by continuing to offer a wide and varied choice of the best products to help prevent eye injuries in the home and elsewhere…because prevention of an eye injury is so much better than living with the long-term effects of an eye injury, especially when it could have easily been prevented.   

We at BLOG4SAFETY wish to thank:
Carol Koenigsknecht, Medical Consumer Writer and Hulet Smith, OT, Rehabmart Team Leader & CEO for this great article and sharing their concern with us and our parent company, Texas America Safety Company, about the importance of eye protection both at home and work.


There are many things that we take for granted in our every day life, and our vision is one of them.  We wake up each day, and are very fortunate to see everything around us.  We depend on our eyes to guide us as we go about our routine existence.  September is the month to observe Sports and Home Eye Safety Month, so here are some tips to help protect those peepers. 

First, sports and recreational activities cause more than 40,000 eye injuries each year, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.  Most of these accidents are preventable.  In fact, Prevent Blindness America reports that 90% of sports-related eye injuries can be prevented.  Two sports that cause the most eye injuries are baseball and basketball, followed by water sports and racquet sports.  Safety goggles are advised for children and adults who play softball and baseball.  Children are the most vulnerable, as they often have underdeveloped depth perception, and may find it difficult to judge the position of a flying ball, resulting in a blow from a flying ball.  It only makes sense that when professional athletes or others wear eye protection while playing sports, that we all should consider doing the same thing.  You can get a finger in your eye, a black eye, or things such a tennis ball, racquet, fist, or elbow can cause sudden compression of the eye.  Penetrating injuries occur when a foreign object pierces the eye; BB pellets are a common cause of this type of injury.  Warning signs of potentially serious eye injuries include:

  • Tears in the outer ocular walls;
  • A foreign body inside the eye;
  • Visual loss;
  • Bleeding on the surface or inside the eye.

In any event, it is important to see a physician or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.  First aid would be to place a protective cover over the eye to prevent more damage, or tape the bottom of a paper cup over the eye if no shield is available. 

Another source of eye injury is right there in your home.  Accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries annually.  However, 90% of these eye injuries can be prevented through safety practices and using proper eye protection.  When you are painting or mowing, be sure to wear safety glasses or dust goggles.  Keep tools in good condition; flying pieces of damaged tools can be hazardous to the eyes.  Do not mix cleaning agents.  There are many chemical ingredients in cleaning products that can irritate the eyes.  Understand that regular eyeglasses don’t always provide enough protection. 

As the old saying goes, “the best treatment is prevention.”  The best prevention of eye injury while involved in sports or working at home is to wear specially designed protective eyewear.  Eye guards may not completely eliminate risks, but can greatly reduce the chance of ocular injury.  Different types of eye protection should be considered to match the sport or tasks involved, such as: 

  • The standard eye guard designed for use in sports such as baseball, racquetball, and basketball is made of polycarbonate (plastic) and has closed lenses and sports frames.
  • Total head and face protection is essential for any collision sport, such as a helmet in football and a facemask in hockey.
  • Non-prescription and prescription safety glasses.
  • Shooting Safety Goggles.
  • Face shields.

Be vigilant about what type of eye protection you choose for your young athlete, and grown-ups, wear eye protection whether at work, play, or at home.  It’s not worth taking a chance on losing the precious gift of vision.


It seems that things haven’t improved in the past few years regarding employees getting injured because they were not wearing their personal protective equipment on the job.  Surveys of safety professionals, conducted by Kimberly-Clark Professional at the National Safety Council Congress in 2006, 2007, and 2008, found high levels of non compliance with PPE protocols.  In 2006, there was 85% non-compliance; 87% in 2007, and 89% in 2008.  

The headline in the latest Kimberly Clark survey of 132 attendees at the American Society of Safety Engineers show in Baltimore, Maryland, conducted via the Internet between June 9, and 13, 2010, reads: U.S. Workers Risking Injury By Not Wearing Safety Equipment.   Almost all safety professionals in this survey reported that workers in their companies had at some point failed to wear the necessary safety equipment while on the job.  According to this survey, the top workplace safety issue by all respondents was worker compliance with PPE protocols. 

The most challenging PPE category, (eye protection and safety glasses), according to 42 per cent of respondents,  was that nearly three out of five workers who experienced eye injuries were found not to be wearing eye protection at the time of the accident or were wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job.  This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  NIOSH reports that around 2,000 U.S. workers each day have a job-related eye injury requiring medical treatment, and the U.S. Labor Department says that thousands are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented.  What is so hard about putting on a pair of safety glasses, goggles, or side shields?  

Hearing protection was the next highest category for noncompliance.  Occupational noise-induced hearing loss is 100 per cent preventable when proper preventative measures are implemented.  Coming in next were gloves, followed by head protection.  Some of the complaints from workers were: uncomfortable, too hot, unavailable near the task, poor fit, or unattractive looking. 

We all know that every business must have a strong safety culture, beginning at the top.  It is important for managers and upper level bosses to wear safety products that apply to their workers any time they are on the shop floors, or other areas where their employees can see them.  They and the floor supervisors should set the example and be consistent with it. 

Personal protective equipment is more effective if it fits well and is comfortable.  Persons in charge of purchasing these products should keep in mind the different sizes and shapes of their employees.  Good training is necessary, as well.  Whether you have young workers who think they are never going to get hurt, or more experienced ones that have had the good fortune to not be in an accident, stating “it’s never going to happen to me,” may sadly be fooled one day. 

Supervisors who have seen employees get hurt on the job, say it is helpful if an employee can tell his/her co-workers how it happened and how it has changed his/her life, if the injury was serious.  Wearing PPE should be a condition of employment.  If a worker is not complying with that rule, they should be reprimanded just the same as any other violation of their work agreement.  They need to understand that they can lose their job by failing to wear equipment that could possibly save their limbs or even their life.  Contractors should comply the same as regular employees and ensure their employees follow the same safety protocols.  If a job gets shut down because of non-compliance, and there is no pay for time that they are shut down, it may get everyone’s attention pretty fast. 

If your excuse was “I didn’t have time to put it on,” was it because you were late getting to work?  “I won’t get in an accident” or “I’ve been doing it that way for years, and so far, so good!” are just reasons that really don’t fly.  You have to be responsible for your safety, and your employer buys you that equipment to keep you safe.  It is important that you keep up with it, take care of it, and wear it at all times on the job. 

There’s been much discussion about safety incentives.  Some companies give safety awards when their employees go for a year without a lost-time accident.  At one place I worked, we got pizza for going a month without a lost-time accident; however, there were people that got hurt, but wouldn’t report it because they didn’t want the others to lose their pizza party!  One good suggestion was from a manager that gave “on-the-spot” rewards.  If he observed an employee using safe work practices, he would hand him/her small treats such as movie tickets, dinner gift cards, fuel gift cards, some nice safety glasses, gloves, or glove clips.  

Whether you get a reward for safe actions at work or not, the main prize is staying safe throughout your entire career.  Having a supervisor that watches and observes like a “mother hen” really is the key.  Supervisors know a lot more than we think they do, sometimes.  They are responsible for your safety and seeing that you do everything you can to work safely. One of the most important things you can do is to wear your PPE, whenever it is required.

If it doesn’t fit or there’s another problem, tell your supervisor or manager.  Otherwise, no excuse is good enough when you take a chance with safety.


As we begin a new year, the economy may still be causing employers to examine ways to cut costs, and many times, safety budgets may be the primary avenues they take.  Safety experts say many companies see safety as an overhead cost; but eye injuries alone account for more than $300 million per year, according to OSHA.  This figure includes medical expenses, worker compensation, and lost production time. 

January is National Eyecare Month.  Once good vision is lost, it can’t be easily replaced.  Prevent Blindness America reports that an estimated 94,500 persons are treated in emergency rooms for eye injuries every year in the United States.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that around 2,000 people suffer eye injury at work each day.  That’s one in every ten, leading to at least one or more missed workdays.  The correct eye protection could either prevent 90% of those injuries or lessen the severity of damage to the eyes. 

Employers must furnish personal protective equipment that matches the particular hazards of the job.  Protective Safety goggles, safety glasses, sideshields, faceshields, and full-face respirators are designed to protect the eyes from impact, flying objects, dust, tools, chemicals, radiation, and many other hazards.  Companies must assess eye safety dangers and eliminate hazards before employees begin their work.  Employees should be trained to know that they should wear safety eyewear and other protective equipment at all times that there is risk of injury.   

Safety lens may be made of the following materials that meet or exceed the requirements for protecting the eyes:

  • Polycarbonate lens:  Protect against splatter, are not likely to fog; stronger than glass or plastic, have higher impact resistance than the others; but are not as scratch-resistant as glass.
  • Plastic lens: Also lighter weight than glass, not likely to fog either, but are not as scratch-resistant as glass.
  • Glass lens: are not easily scratched, and can be used around harsh chemicals.  They can be made with corrective prescriptions; however, they are sometimes heavy and uncomfortable. 

If a person is working with chemicals, they should wear goggles.  Working near hazardous radiation, such as welding, lasers, or fiber optics requires the worker to wear special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or welding hoods designed for that particular task.  If the work area contains dust particles, flying objects, or other like hazards, safety glasses with side protection (side shields) should be worn, unless the employer feels that goggles would be safer. 

The “bottom line” is the fact that although companies think they may save money by cutting down on safety budgets, they might face higher costs because of an eye injury.  Prevent Blindness America estimates that the average eye injury costs a company $28,000 in medical expenses, lost time, and production slowdowns.  How many of their products would the business need to sell to offset that kind of expense, after a serious workplace accident?  They may feel that although accident protection is important, it may not be that urgent until something happens.  Let’s hope that isn’t the case.


Work-related eye injuries alone cost over $300 million dollars per year, in lost production time, worker compensation, and medical expenses.

OSHA says there are two main reasons:

(1) Workers weren’t wearing any eye protection. By some estimates, as many as three out of five injured workers weren’t wearing eye protection at the time of their accident.

(2) Workers were wearing the wrong kind of protection-the eyewear did not effectively protect against the specific hazard they faced.

Employers should know the risk factors facing their employees and properly train the workers to wear the appropriate eye protection prior to beginning their duties.  If employees determine there are chances of eye injuries occurring that have not been addressed, they need to immediately notify their supervisor.  Companies should strictly enforce their personal protective equipment policies.

Workers who are exposed to hazards such as molten metal, dust, dirt, wood chips, liquid chemical splashes, flying particles, gases or vapors, caustic liquids, infection-related materials, and light radiation must wear the appropriate eye and face protection.  Improper or poor-fitting eyewear will not ensure safety from eye injury.  If workers wear prescription lens, there are safety glasses that comfortably fit over the prescription glasses, or some safety eyewear can be made with the prescription in them.  Contact lens wearers must wear eye/face protection when working in hazardous settings.

Types of EyeProtection:Types of Eye Protection

  • Safety Spectacles – Impact resistant lenses; safety frames are usually made from metal or plastic. Side shields may be added for further protection.
  • Welding Shields – Vulcanized fiber/fiberglass with filtered lens, protect from infrared burns, radiant light sparks, slag chips, and metal.  Shades on the shields are numbered, and the welder must use the correct shade number according to tasks being done to secure eyes from harmful light radiation.
  • Laser Safety Goggles –Protect from intense concentrations of laser light. These are special goggles.
  • Face Shields – Sheets of transparent plastic, (sometimes polarized), which goes from eyebrows to below chin and across width of head.  They do not absorb impacts; however, they work well with goggles or safety spectacles against impact hazards.  Protect face from splashes, dust, sprays, etc.

One could lose their eyesight in a matter of seconds; therefore, it makes sense to take a little time to put on protective eyewear before entering the jobsite.

Source: OSHA


March is Workplace Eye Safety and Health Month, so we want to repeat how important it is for employers to make the right choice of eye care products and what to do in case of eye injuries.  From eye drops to eyewash stations, proper first aid is vital in case of an injury:

  • 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.

The most effective way to prevent eye injuries is by wearing safety glasses or goggles. It is important that safety glasses fit properly; side shields on safety glasses also assist in keeping particles from entering the eyes.

It is imperative that workers recognize and report any hazardous situations in their workplace that could cause serious eye injuries.  Our website contains other articles reporting statistics of these types of accidents.    Most of them could have been avoided if the proper protection had been used.
Keep your eyes protected at all times, so you’ll never miss a thing!

Source: Gateway

More About Protecting Your Eyes

In researching eye injuries at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, their logo is “Use Them or Lose Them”, picturing a person with safety glasses on.  Thousands are blinded each year from work-related injuries that could have been prevented with proper use of eye and face protection.  More than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation are due to eye injuries alone.  Each day, over 2,000 U.S. workers have job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment. Safety glasses, goggles, face shields, and welding hoods, and full-face respirators must meet ANSI Z87.1 standards.  The frame of safety glasses must have Z87 or Z87+ on the frame. Anytime workers face hazards of flying particles or objects, they are required to have side protection or side shields on glasses.  Those who work in health care, janitorial, construction, laboratory staffs, construction, and welding, risk permanent damage to their eyes if they do not wear the proper PPE for face and eyes.  Employers must determine the types of hazards that are present before assigning PPE to workers. Side shields come in a variety of styles that will fit just about any shape of safety glass, and are used widely among many professions.  They are a great safety convenience, as they slip on and off safety glasses, but give the added security of side protection.  Wrap around glasses also furnish protection from wind, flying particles, dust, and much more.  Eye injuries occur because of inadequate side protection, proper fit, or particles that fell from above, such as drilling or hammering overhead. What have you observed at your work site?  How many workers are wearing any type of eye protection?  And do they keep it on all day?  A very common response after the fact of an eye injury is “I didn’t think I needed it.”  With all the wonderful features that safety glasses boast, there’s just no excuse for not wearing eye protection!  There are safety glasses available for  all kinds of work that are stylish and have features, such as fitting over regular prescription glasses, numerous tints, even ones with bifocal lenses. The next time you need a pair of sunglasses, check out the cool new styles of safety glasses.  They look great, cost less, and furnish much more protection.  You’ll be stylin’ with your new safety glasses on the job, working around the house, or at play. Sources: OSHA NIOSH

Think Safety on Purpose

Below is a testimonial from a friend who, like most of us, did not consider the dangers of doing even normal household and maintenance chores without protection.  I know I’ve trimmed trees and hedges dozens of times without using protection.  I think now I will reconsider!

Several years ago I stuck a mulberry branch stob into my right eye.  I had laser surgery and was not wearing glasses, the first form of eye protection.  My accident caused me to endure two additional surgeries and an extra year of treatment.  Since then, and due to my unfortunate experience, I wear safety goggles during all my tree trimming yard work.  They are not an inconvenience, and are much easier to deal with than almost blinding yourself.

Bill La Barr

United Methodist Church