07 Mar March Is Workplace Safety Month!
Hi everyone! Did you know that March is Workplace Safety Month?
Many of us work in environments that expose our eyes to dangerous chemicals, debris and machinery that could cause vision problems. I wanted to take some time to remind you to keep those eyes safe this month and remember to protect your vision and help promote a safe work environment for yourself and for your staff. I own two optometry practices in Southern California and my top priority is keeping my staff and patients safe and healthy!
Whether or not you work on a construction site or in a busy office, your eyes can be at risk of injury, infection and exposure to dangerous hazards and poor lighting. Each year, there are over 800,000 on the job eye injuries and many of them, about 90% are preventable.
According to the Eye Health and Safety Organization of Preventing Blindness, wearing proper eye protection can prevent 90 percent of all eye injuries!
So exactly how do these eye injuries at work occur? The fact is that many of the hazards that may affect your vision at work could be found everywhere and may not be so obvious. Issues with dirty ventilation systems to poor overhead lighting or spending an extended time in front of the computer can all attribute to poor eye health and vision problems.
The best thing you can do is to protect those eyes with eye protection or wear prescription lenses. Also, taking frequent breaks and making sure to see your optometrist on an annual basis can help prevent long term vision problems. Many undiagnosed vision problems can lead to eye fatigue and accidents at work. Your optometrist can catch any potential eye problems early and make recommendations that may help prevent work injuries or further damage. Your optometrist may suggest modifying your workspace or taking more breaks from your computer to help improve your eye health.
Do you wear prescription glasses or sunglasses at work? A recent study showed that the majority of eye injuries at work happened when the worker was not wearing safety glasses or prescription glasses. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that 3 out of 5 workers injured were not wearing eye protection at the time of the incident. If you work in construction or in a fast paced environment, make sure to wear your eyewear at all times. If you drive for your job and are prescribed glasses, make sure to keep them on when you are driving, especially at night! The one time you decide to take them off could be when an injury occurs.
“Well…I work in an office so I’m totally safe from Eye injuries.”
Did you know that working in a office can actually be more dangerous for your eyes then working on a construction site? Many indoor factors can attribute to eye problems. When working in an office, you should consider the following in order to prevent eye injury:
- Distance of your computer screen.
- Do you need eye protection?
- Are you wearing the right eye glasses with up to date prescription lenses?
- Are you resting your eyes enough, blinking and taking frequent breaks?
- Do you fiddle with pens and pencils while working on the computer?
Not blinking and playing with pens and pencils may cause injury to your eyes and also cause eye problems such as dry eye which can lead to blurry vision and irritable eyes.
So what do you do if you are stuck in an office all day? I recommend the 20-20-20 rule!
Make sure to take a 20 seconds every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away or more. Your computer screen should be at least 20 inches from your eyes. If working on a computer near a window, make sure to limit sunlight or use an anti glare computer screen. UV rays can bounce off your screen and cause damage to your retina. Also, make sure the lighting in your office is not to bright or to dark.
You may want to talk with your optometrist to see if having two pairs of glasses is right for you. One pair of glasses may be better for work and the other may be better for outdoors or recreational activities. If you need more tips on eye safety and eye health, come see me at one of our two locations! At Coachella Valley Optometry a staff member can help you find the best glasses for all of your needs.
These tips can help keep your eyes protected while keeping you away from the emergency room. It can also help prevent dry eyes, eye strain, headaches and ensure that your work environment is more productive and enjoyable.
If you need more tips on eye health or need to schedule your annual eye appointment, make sure to give my office a call or go to CVOPTO.COM
Coachella Valley Optometry has two locations in Southern California and I would love to help you keep those eyes safe and healthy!