Workplace eye injuries account for nearly 25,000 emergency room visits each year. To help spread awareness about eye safety, the organization, Prevent Blindness declares March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month. This designation is meant to serve as a reminder to employers and workers alike about the importance of eye health and safety.
Organizers of Workplace Eye Wellness Month offer helpful information on how today’s workers can protect themselves and how employers can help ensure worker safety, from wearing certified eye protection to staying mindful of the effects of digital eye strain. In this post, a Saginaw, TX optometrist discusses important issues surrounding workplace eye safety.
Workplace Eye Injury Statistics
Every day, as many as 2,000 American workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical care. Welding tools top the list, with over 15,000 equipment-related eye injuries followed by power tools, which account for 10,000 injuries every year. These statistics have left nearly one million Americans living with vision problems.
Here are a few more statistics to consider:
- 80 percent of on-the-job eye injuries happen to men, aged 25 to 44
- Eye injuries account for 45 percent of all head injuries that lead to missed workdays
- More than 60 percent of Americans report experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain (blurred vision, headaches, dry eyes)
- 40 percent of workplace-related eye injuries occur in the manufacturing, mining, and construction industries
- Eye injuries are the cause for an estimated $300 million in compensation, medical bills, and time off every year
- An estimated 59 percent experience symptoms of digital eye strain
Now here are a few Workplace Eye Wellness tips on how to protect your eyes in both office and industrial-based settings:
Office Settings – Digital Eye Strain
- Follow the 20-20-20 Rule – For every 20 minutes of screen time, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Place your screen a little bit below eye level and at least 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes
- Use an adjustable chair
- Tinted computer glasses can help increase contract and reduce digital eye strain
Manufacturing & Construction Settings
Be sure to wear all recommended as well as needed eyewear protection in the work environment, including:
- Face shields
- Safety glasses, both prescription and nonprescription
- Full-face respirators
- Welding helmets
Help spread the word about Workplace Eye Wellness Month! And if you ever have an eye injury or eye emergency, please don’t hesitate to call our Saginaw, TX optometry office.