March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Eye injuries are very common in the workplace. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that every day about 2,000 U.S. workers suffer work-related eye injuries that require some form of medical treatment. However, eye specialists and safety experts believe the proper eye protection can decrease the severity or even prevent 90% of these injuries.

During Workplace Eye Wellness Month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology hopes to spread awareness to employers and workers and promote the importance of wearing certified and approved eye protection in the workplace.  Maintaining your vision must be a top priority at your job. Damage to the eye is often an irreversible injury.  So preventing it can avoid a lifetime of struggling with a serious and life-altering disorder.


Eye safety is something that should be taken seriously in all professions.  Even those working in an office setting can be subjected to vision damage.  Office workers are most at risk of what is called Digital Eye Strain.  This is eye and vision-related problems that result from lengthy computer, tablet, cell phone, and other electronic device use.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, nearly 3 out of 5 workers who suffered eye injuries were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident. Most of the workers reported that they believed protection was not required for the situation.
Common Causes of Eye Injuries in the Workplace

  • Not wearing eye protection.
  • Wearing the wrong kind of protection for the job.

Common Eye Hazards in the Workplace

  • Flying foreign objects (metal, glass, wood, dust, other particles)
  • Tools
  • Chemicals
  • Harmful radiation
  • Bright light
  • Strain
  • Infectious Diseases

The type of eye protection you should wear depends on the hazards in your workplace and what particular job you are doing.  OSHA requires workers to use eye protection whenever there is a reasonable probability of injury that could be prevented by such equipment. Personal protective eyewear, such as goggles, face shields, safety glasses or full face respirators must be used when an eye hazard exists.

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