Mar 2023

Workplace Eye Safety: Tips for Protecting Your Vision

A female construction worker putting on the proper safety glasses to protect her eyes from injury.

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

According to Prevent Blindness, more than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work every day. Whether you work in construction, manufacturing, healthcare, or in an office, eye safety should be a top priority. Eye injuries are common in many workplaces and can have serious consequences, such as loss of vision and long-term disabilities. However, workplace eye injuries can be prevented, and with March being Workplace Eye Wellness Month, it is the perfect time to learn the proper safety measures and precautions.

How do eye injuries happen at work?

Workers deserve a safe work environment, but many workplaces possess hazards that can cause eye injuries. Some common causes of workplace eye injuries include:

  • Projectiles: In many industries, workers are at risk of eye injuries from flying objects. Construction workers can be exposed to flying debris from power tools. Healthcare workers may be at risk from needle sticks or other sharp objects. Any foreign particles in the air, like dust, concrete, metal, or wood, can find their way into the eye.
  • Chemicals: When chemical liquids splash or spill, they can come in contact with the eye. Even chemical fumes from gases can burn the eye. In addition, substances like acids and alkalis can cause severe damage.
  • Radiation: When the eye is exposed to radiation, it can result in vision problems like cataracts and retinal damage. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, infrared radiation, visible light, heat, and lasers are all hazardous to the eyes.
  • Burns: Eye burns can be caused by hot liquids, steam, and fire. The affected eye will appear red and swollen. Someone with an eye burn injury can suffer from pain, blurred vision, permanent scarring, and vision loss.

How to protect your eyes at work

Protecting your eyes while on the job is crucial for maintaining your vision and preventing potential eye injuries. You can do three things to prevent an eye injury at work. The first is to know what hazards may be on site.

Being aware of the hazards you may come across can help reduce the risk of an eye injury. Like with most things, knowledge is power. Once familiar with the potential dangers, you can take the proper steps to eliminate them. This should be completed before the commencement of any work task.

Even with the completion of an eye hazard workplace assessment, accidents can still happen. That’s why the third tip to protecting your eyes is wearing safety eyewear. It’s not just about wearing safety eyewear but the right type of eyewear for the job at hand. Here are some examples of common eyewear options for various workers:

  • Safety glasses with side shields: Crucial for workers exposed to an environment with hazardous flying objects or particles.
  • Face shields and welding helmets: Special safety eyewear like face shields and welding helmets can protect workers at risk of radiation exposure.
  • Goggles: Goggles are approved safety protection to shield the eyes against chemicals.

Talk to a workers’ comp attorney about your options

It’s important to know you have rights as a worker injured on the job. You can pursue workers’ compensation, but obtaining the benefits can be complicated. That’s why you need an attorney with experience and knowledge of the workers’ compensation system.

At the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl, our legal team has been helping clients in Rhode Island and Massachusetts get the workers’ comp benefits they deserve.

Get a trusted lawyer on your side. Don’t delay, workers comp benefits have strict legal deadlines. Contact us today to learn more.

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