Every day, more than 2,000 American workers are treated for occupational eye injuries, according to National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) data. In recognition of this eye-opening information, and in honor of Workplace Eye Wellness Month this March, employers are urged to promote workplace eye wellness.
According to the NIOSH data, 70 percent of occupational eye injuries were caused by contact with an object or equipment. Exposure to harmful substances or environments accounted for 26 percent of injuries. Scrap, waste, debris, chemicals and welding torches were just some of the sources of eye injuries at work.
"Many everyday job activities can put your eyes at risk, whether you're on the factory floor, construction site, automotive repair shop or landscaping job," said Myles Freeman Jr., co-owner of Wiley X. "Jobs like these and many others demand serious protection."
Workplace Eye Wellness Month, held in March every year, is a nationwide campaign created to raise awareness of work-related eye injuries and how to prevent them through proper vision protection. After all, according to Prevent Blindness America, wearing proper eye protection can prevent 90 percent of all eye injuries.
The American Optometric Association recommends four steps to protecting workers' eyes:
· Know the hazards that could lead to eye injuries at your place of employment.
· Eliminate those hazards before starting work by using machine guards, work screens or other engineering controls.
· Use appropriate eye protection.
· Keep your eye protection in good condition and replace it if it becomes damaged.