June is National Safety Month: How can you keep your eyes safe at work and at home?

Now that June has come around the corner, it is National Safety Month. The question is, how can you keep your eyes safe at home and at work? For many Americans, this time of year is defined by yard work, home improvements and home or office spring cleaning. You may not realize that these types of projects can threaten the safety of your eyes in a major way. Extremely delicate, eyes are almost never protected adequately against potential injury.  As a matter of fact, almost half of every type of eye injury occurs at home or at work, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. At the same time, only about a third percent of American wear eye wear to protect their eyes from any threats.

At home, hazardous activities can include yard work, home improvement and cleaning:

  • Yard Work- shovels, trimmers and lawn mower can throw debris and dirt in the air. Thorns, twigs and branches can also be dangerous.
  • Home Improvement- Hand tools, nails and screws can be projectiles. At the same time, substances like wood chips can be propelled into the air with power tools
  • Cleaning- Each year, household cleaning products like bleach cause 125,000 injuries to the eye.

This is where protective eyewear comes in. Your risk for injuries to the eyes becomes reduced by almost ninety per cent when you wear eye protection. It is recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology that consumers keep eye protection on hand and wear these when doing activities that risk the eyes. The bad news is that it is usually when it is too late that people think about protecting their eyes.

At work, paying attention to the possible risks there are in the environment. Each time you are required to do high risk work, eye protection is a must.

Types of injuries at work can include vision loss that bright lights cause, called a welding flash. These also include a chemical burn, embedded objects, punctures, cuts or scratches. To protect yourself, walk through your work area and check to see if there are hazards that are potentially in the area. Pinpoint recurring problems while checking through injury records. Talk with other workers about risk factors.

Hazard Control at Work

Control potential hazards in order to reduce eye injury risks.  Wear appropriate eye protection that complies with the American standards. Things you can do also include:

  • Providing adequate equipment for first aid
  • Workers should go through regular sessions of training
  • Comply with all instructions
  • Manage dust or fumes with fans, extractors or exhaust hoods
  • Dampen dusty environments using water
  • Make sure every device for safety like shield or guards are in great working condition
  • Install barriers for safety
  • Isolate high risk equipment
  • Use safer alternatives for toxic chemicals and high risk equipment.

Seek Immediate Help

In every case of injury for the eyes, whether these occur at home or at work, seeking help immediately is important. Seemingly minor injuries can at sometimes cause damage permanently including loss of vision. Depending on the injury type incurred, treatment will vary.