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March is Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our eyes on the job. Eye injuries are a serious concern, with more than 2,000 occurring daily on job sites. Shockingly, of the total number of work-related eye injuries, 10 to 20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss in the affected employees, with about one in 10 requiring missed workdays to recover.

Many believe eye injuries only happen in manufacturing, construction, or trade jobs. However, almost 40 percent of work-related eye injuries occur in offices, healthcare facilities, laboratories, and similar environments. The causes of most eye injuries are flying objects, tools, particles, chemicals, and harmful radiation. However, in many cases, implementing safe work practices and utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment could prevent them entirely.

To protect your eyes while on the job, always wear the appropriate safety eyewear for your job site or role, even if you are passing through a hazardous area. If you work in an area with particles or dust, wear safety glasses with side shields to protect against flying objects. Always wear safety goggles or face shields to protect against splashing when working with chemicals.

When working around hazardous radiation like welding, lasers, or fiber optics, use special-purpose safety goggles and helmets designed specifically for the task. Remember, something as simple as putting on a pair of safety glasses can prevent serious eye injuries. These injuries are painful, cause many lost workdays, and sometimes lead to permanent vision loss.

During March and all year round, remember to wear your safety glasses! Your eyes are irreplaceable, and caring for them on the job is crucial. Employers can also take a proactive role in preventing workplace eye injuries by providing appropriate training and equipment to their employees. Together, we can make the workplace a safer environment for everyone.


Written by Tom Schulter

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