When you think of potential everyday hazards in the workplace, oftentimes, employees don’t take into consideration one of the most common: eye hazards. Why? The primary reason is that when you think of injuries at work, your mind immediately goes to the most obvious physical accidents that can occur. However, the truth is eye hazards at work are everywhere. Unfortunately, most of them can still go…unseen.
Since March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, the vision professionals at Nevada Eye Physicians in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Henderson, Pahrump, and Boulder City, NV want to change that. Did you know that according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 2,000 people in the U.S. sustain some kind of work-related eye injury each and every day? We believe that awareness is the key to vision wellness. To achieve efficient and effective eye protection in the workplace, know where to begin practicing new eye-safety measures as soon as possible.
How to protect your eyes at work
At Nevada Eye Physicians, we recommend seven steps to achieve better safety around potential eye hazards at work. They are:
- Understand your surroundings
Not all work environments have the same eye-safety hazards, but each can have equal dangers. To truly understand potential workplace eye hazards, begin by asking yourself a few logical questions before starting any occupation. How can I practice better eye safety to protect my eyes at work? What are any imminent risks for this particular project? Will I be exposed to foreign chemicals for prolonged periods of time? Will I be working in the bright sunlight for consecutive hours in the day? For those in more subtly dangerous work situations, ask yourself how long you might be staring at a computer screen or even consider what the air ventilation is like is your immediate work area. All of your corresponding answers will help you better determine the level of eye protection you need to prepare for in order to maintain a safe workplace for your short- and long-term vision.
- Take proactive eye protection measures
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics via the American Optometric Association, it was reported that almost three out of five eye injuries in the workplace occurred due to a lack of proper eye protection during the corresponding incident. Even more concerning? Those very same workers went on record to say they didn’t believe their specific work situation required eye protection in the first place. Even if your work environment doesn’t require you to take appropriate eye-safety measures, that doesn’t mean you can’t take on the initiative yourself. If you have the slightest concern about potentially compromising your vision in the workplace, you can take the necessary precautions, like wearing safety goggles.
- Acknowledge symptoms when they occur
Certain eye symptoms can become more severe if ignored. While you should always be aware of your surroundings, minor annoyances should be treated no differently. Are your eyes beginning to itch? Maybe you are noticing increased redness or are experiencing unusual dryness. Should you have any measured blurriness or difficulty seeing, always contact your vision professional at Nevada Eye Physicians immediately.
- Avoid overexposure to irritating elements
Sometimes the little elements in the workplace can make the greatest impact on your vision. Assess each situation with scrutiny and concern. Is your workplace particularly dusty? Is it poorly ventilated or primarily confined to an outdoor area with exposure to a lot of sun? Are you spending hours upon hours in front of a computer screen? Will you be exposed to varying levels of floating debris that may easily get into your eyes? Simple solutions like frequent breaks, utilizing safety eyewear, or practicing the 20/20/20 method (20-second breaks every 20 minutes to stare at something 20 feet in the distance) will help keep your eyes as safe as possible at work.
- Voice your concerns
A safe employee is the most productive employee. If you are concerned about certain eye safety procedures at work, tell a supervisor. Oftentimes, they might not be aware of an issue or even have a solution ready at hand. Make suggestions. Still concerned? Call your trusted eye doctor at Nevada Eye Physicians, and we will happily provide alternatives for better eye safety based on your individual workplace.
- Seek help immediately
Actions do speak louder than words when it comes to the protection of your eyes in the workplace, and many industries require eye-wash stations at certain intervals throughout your facility. Even the seemingly most minor irritation can cause the most long-term damage. Don’t take this risk. Know the proper eye care options in your workplace, and follow safety protocol immediately following even the most minor incident.
Maintain regular eye appointments
Sharing any problems you may be experiencing, including any signs of loss of vision, with your eye doctor at Nevada Eye Physicians is paramount to preventing unnecessary further damage. It is imperative you keep your regularly scheduled appointments in order to discuss any eye safety issues you may have and assess any vision loss. Start by contacting us at one of our eye-care locations in Las Vegas, Mesquite, Henderson, Pahrump, and Boulder City, NV today.