Did you know that in the U.S. about 2,000 workplace eye injuries occur every day? Almost 70% of accidents happen because of flying or falling objects. And would you believe, most of the objects are smaller than the head of a pin!
Most workplace eye injuries occur where safety eyewear isn’t required, or left up to the individual to decide if they’ll wear it. Many of those injured on the job didn’t think they needed to wear safety glasses or protective gear, or were wearing eyewear that didn’t provide adequate protection. Many of these injuries could have been prevented if the individual had just worn some sort of protective eye wear. A general rule is if your subconscious says “I should be careful,” then you should probably be looking for some type of eye protection.
An on-the-job (or an at home) eye injury can cause lasting and permanent vision damage, potentially disabling a person for life. Even “minor” eye injuries can cause long-term vision problems and suffering, such as recurrent and painful corneal erosion from a simple scratch from sawdust, cement, or drywall. However, an estimated 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented using proper protective eyewear, per OSHA. Don’t become an eye injury statistic! Follow the eye safety rules to protect your vision
There are four key things you can do to protect or prevent eye injuries.
The type of safety eye protection you should wear depends largely upon the hazards in your workplace.
In most instances (except for chemical splashes-see below) you should immediate seek medical attention. The longer a forging substance is in contact with the eye surface the more damage is typically done and the more difficult the treatment and the longer the recovery.
Immediately flush the eye with water for at least 15 minutes. Place the eye under a faucet or shower, use a garden hose, or pour water into the eye from a clean container. If you are wearing contact lenses, immediately remove them before flushing the eye. Do not try to neutralize the chemical with other substances. THEN seek immediate medical attention.
Do not rub the eye. Irrigate the eye with an artificial tear solution or water. DO not use any other type of fluid. Some particles, particularly metallic ones, can cause rusting spots on the eye if left untreated for several days. If you are unsure if the object is gone, do not delay medical care.
Gently apply a cold compress without putting pressure on the eye. Crushed ice in a plastic bag can be placed gently on the injured eye to reduce pain and swelling.
Do not wash out the eye. Do not attempt to remove an object that is stuck in the eye. Seek immediate medical care.