October is Eye Safety and Injury Prevention Month. It is celebrated with the sponsorship of the American Academy of Ophthalmology as a reminder to all Americans to protect their eyes. Statistics show that about half of all eye injuries occur in the “safety” of the home while others occur at work or while playing sports.
Eye Injury in the Workplace
Approximately 2,000 people each day get eye injuries that are work-related. Most of these injuries require medical treatment. Many of the eye injuries result from small objects or particles, such as dust, cement chips, wood chips, and metal slivers, that strike or abrade the eye. Those small particles may be wind blown. They may also fall from above or be ejected by tools. The injury could be more serious like in the case of metal particles that pierce the eyeball, resulting in permanent vision loss.
Large objects striking the eye or a worker bumping into a hard object may also cause serious injury. Chemical and thermal burns are also leading causes of eye injury, like in the case of welders’ sparks, UV radiation, and combustion or explosion of chemicals and gases. Workers in medical, laboratory, and research facilities may injure their eyes as a result of exposure to infectious diseases, blood splashes, respiratory fluids, and other contaminated materials.
Eye Safety and Injury Prevention
Most eye injuries in the workplace occur when employees fail to use protective eyewear. Eye injury can be prevented through the following measures:
- Creating a safe work environment – A workplace will be safe if hazards from falling objects can be eliminated. Ensure that employees know how to use tools properly and that tools are in good working condition. Only those who are needed in work areas should be there.
- Evaluating safety hazards – Identifying hazards in the work area and those posed by machinery and nearby workers can help minimize injuries.
- Wearing proper face and eye protection – Use the correct face or eye protection needed in the particular work area. Make sure that protective devices fit properly.
- Observe smart and safe work practices
Safety at EMS Solutions
The manufacturing regulations imposed by the government are there for a reason. At EMS Solutions, we subscribe to the idea that meeting U.S. safety standards keeps workers safe. We are committed to complying with those standards in order to have an injury-free workforce.