The human eye is often taken for granted. While people are accustomed to eating healthy foods and receiving the proper amount of exercise, many rarely consider their vision health. When it comes to our eyes, it is most important to protect the eyesight we have been given. During Workplace Wellness Month, we would like to remind everyone that workplace eye safety actions are easy to incorporate and invaluable to maintain long-term vision health.
Almost 2,000 people in the U.S. injure their eyes while working everyday. Of these 2,000, one third of the injuries are severe enough to be treated in the hospital emergency room. The majority of injuries that happen within the workplace are due to small particle abrasion in the eye or chemical splashing. Examples of this could be: metal, wood, UV radiation burns, or cleaning products. However, our eyesight can be damaged without a tragic accident or spill. A recent survey found that computer work alone resulted in 14% of patients' reported eye problems. This number is expected to increase as our jobs and daily activities become more computer screen driven. Because eyesight can be at risk in numerous ways, it is extremely important to be aware of and practice eye safety in the workplace. The consequences of not doing so could lead to a precious loss of vision.
According to preventblindness.org, 10-20% of work related injuries will cause permanent vision loss. They also state that the right eye protection could lessen the severity or even prevent 90% of eye injuries in accidents. Almost three out of five eye injuries are due to not wearing appropriate eye protection. Whether it's goggles, helmets, face shields, or just safety glasses, simply wearing them will protect and in many cases save eyesight. When there is any type of eye hazard, proper eye protection should be worn at all times.
In the workplace, technology, specifically computers, poses a significant risk to our vision. Over exposure to computer screens, a common problem during the 8-hour work day, can cause our eyes to lose their ability to function properly. To remedy vision strain while still being productive, follow these suggestions:
1. Keep the computer roughly 20 inches away from your eyes.
2. Rest your eyes every 20 minutes.
3. Remember to blink frequently. This simple action reduces dry eye and maintains eye health.