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Eyes on Safety: Workplace Eye Wellness Month

March isn’t just about springtime blooms and longer days, it’s also Workplace Eye Wellness Month, as declared by Prevent Blindness. Let's dive into why this month is so crucial and how we can keep our eyes safe amidst the daily grind.

Why is Workplace Eye Wellness Month Important?

While it’s important to be protecting our eyes year-round, focusing on eye wellness this month is a good reminder that our eyes deserve some TLC, especially when you look at the statistics. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a staggering 18,510 workers faced eye-related injuries in 2020, with many of those injuries requiring days away from work. However, while a sobering figure, the good news is that many of those incidents can be prevented with the right precautions and safety equipment.

But first, what are these injuries from? The U.S. BLS says that 60% of the injuries in 2020 were due to the eye being rubbed or abraded by foreign matter, and another 35% were injuries resulting from the eye being struck by an object or equipment. If you’re exposed to the following hazards, chances are you could easily become another one of these statistics.

  • Flying shards of metal, glass, or other foreign objects
  • Tools that slip or malfunction
  • Particles such as wood splinters, metal shavings, or crystalline silica
  • Chemical spray
  • Any combination of these or other hazards

How Can We Protect Our Eyes on the Job?

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect our eyes is by donning safety glasses or goggles that meet ANSI standards. These bad boys are our frontline defense against flying debris, dust, and other workplace hazards. But they’re also only as good as their condition, so always make sure your safety gear is in top-notch shape and free from cracks or scratches that could compromise your safety and vision. And if you spot any damage during your routine checks, replace them promptly!

Additionally, if you're working in an area prone to projectiles or debris, consider setting up barriers or screens to keep those hazards at bay. It’s also suggested to regularly sweep away debris and clutter to minimize the risk of particles finding their way into your eyes. Keeping your workspace clean isn't just about impressing the boss—it's also about safeguarding your sight!

Last but certainly not least, let's talk emergency preparedness. Eyewash stations are a necessity in workplaces where debris and chemicals can enter the eyes as they could be a lifesaver in a pinch. Make sure they're installed in easily accessible locations with clear signage and that everyone knows how to use them properly. After all, when it comes to eye injuries, every second counts.

And there you go, your crash course in workplace eye wellness. As we observe Workplace Eye Wellness Month, let's commit to prioritizing our vision and ensuring the safety of our eyes on the job. You can also explore our range of safety glasses and eyewash stations below! Remember, when it comes to safeguarding your eyes, preparedness is key. Set your sights on safety!

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