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March is Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month. The Houston eye doctors at Berkeley Eye Center would like to take this time to stress how important it is to maintain an eye safe workplace. Accidents can happen at any time; wearing the appropriate eye gear for your occupation and following workplace safety procedures is your best protection against eye injuries at work.

Each day, around 2,000 US workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. Almost a third of these injuries are severe enough to require a visit to a hospital emergency room for treatment. These injuries cost American businesses several hundred million dollars each year in lost production time, medical expenses and workers compensation. In the worst cases, these accidents may leave the victim completely blind.

Wear Appropriate Eye Wear at All Times – Especially at Work

According to OSHA regulations, an employer must ensure that each employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, biohazardous materials or potentially injurious light radiation. Depending on the type of work, appropriate eye protection can include:

  • Safety glasses
  • Safety glasses with side protection
  • Goggles
  • Hybrid eye safety products that combine the comfort of glasses with the enclosure of goggles
  • Face shields
  • Face shields over glasses or goggles
  • Full-face piece respirator
  • Welding helmet, goggles, or welding respirator with the appropriate lens shade for cutting or welding jobs
  • Eyewear with filter lenses appropriate for the work being performed

If you are unsure about the appropriate protective eye gear to wear while on your job, speak to your supervisor or company safety officer.

Sitting in Front of a Screen Can Be Hard on Your Eyes, Too

Just because you don’t work at a manufacturing or construction job doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about workplace eye problems. Sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours a day can cause eye strain that could impact your long-term vision health.

Here’s a few tips to keep your eyes healthy when you spend a lot of time staring at a screen:

  • Remember to blink (When you work at a computer, you have a tendency not to blink as much.)
  • Reposition your computer screen every so often.
  • Install an anti-glare screen on your monitor.
  • Take mini breaks away from the computer screen.
  • Hydrate and use artificial tear drops if your eyes get dry.
  • Observe the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain: Every 20 minutes, you should look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Get a Regular Eye Exam

A regularly scheduled eye exam is the best way to ensure your vision has not been affected by your workplace conditions. A comprehensive eye exam can detect potentially unseen injuries to the eye, as well as spot serious eye conditions like cataracts or glaucoma in their early stages.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had your eyes checked, now is the time to schedule an eye exam with the Houston eye specialists at Berkeley Eye Center. Our team of skilled optometrists and ophthalmologist have been protecting the vision health of our patients for over 60 years. We have locations all over Houston and surrounding communities, so call today to schedule your comprehensive eye exam!