If not safely equipped, there are many chances that you might get injuries. According to NIOSH, 2000 workers get eye injuries daily. One-third of these injuries need emergency treatment, whereas a hundred injuries keep workers from going to the job for days.
Let’s discuss the significant causes of eye injury during work.
Causes for eye injuries of workers:
Striking or Scrapping:
Striking or Scraping happens when small objects hit your eye. Most workers working in metal processing factories are exposed to such injuries. For example, during working on a lathe machine, metal pieces spread at high velocity, and there are high chances that they might hit your eyes. Small and sharp wooden chips produced during milling and cutting woods may also pinch in the carpenter’s eyes.
Penetration is the other eye injury that is hazardous than the scrapping of objects. Extra chips with sharp edges can not only strike with your eyes but can penetrate as well. In this situation, you might lose your eyesight if your retina damages. Plus, the eyeball damage will take a long time to heal, so you have to stay at home.
Chemical and Thermal Burns:
The third type of eye damages results from the reactions of chemicals. Such injuries have long-lasting effects like corneal perforation, corneal ulcer, and glaucoma.
The workers who work on nuclear sites are always exposed to a few roentgen of radiation. For some reason, if this dose increases, they are at high risk of whole-body damage, mostly if not adequately covered.
Disease acquired from other workers:
I must say this is the most underestimated cause for the spread of eye problems in workers. Workers may acquire eye diseases because of direct exposure to blood splashes, droplets from coughing or sneezing, or touching eyes with contaminated hands. However, these sources seem to be inconsiderable but can cause varying diseases like reddening eyes to HIV, Hepatitis, or influenza.
In this pandemic, digitalization has revolutionized everything. We sit in front of laptops and computer screens, even use mobile for hours. Therefore, the ratio of people affected with computer vision syndrome has readily increased during the last year. Computer screens emit light that directly affects your retina to cause digital eye strain.
Occupations where workers are exposed to eye injuries:
Following are the industrial domains where people are at high risks of getting eye issues for any of the above heading reasons.
- Auto-repair and maintenance
- Electrical fields
How to decide what safety measure you should take?
There are many factors to consider while buying the right safety equipment. You cannot rely on artificial eye lenses if you are working in a mine! You must know that ordinary glasses do not meet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s safety requirements.
Consider these points:
- Wear glasses for places where small objects are flying.
- Googles will prevent your eyes from getting affected by the chemicals in reactors.
- Wear special-purpose googles when you are near nuclear sites.
Before jumping into the safety equipment, there are some precautionary steps that your factory or industries may opt for to maintain a healthy environment.
- Ask your administration to conduct a hazard assessment at your workplace.
- Try to remove those harmful factors as much as possible.
- Provide appropriate safety equipment to workers and keep a first aid box at hand.
Commonly used Safety equipment:
You can choose your safety kit once you know the risk of injuries based on a hazard assessment.
Nonprescription and prescription safety glasses:
Again, regular eyewear glasses are not sufficient when it comes to your security. It would help if you bought special safety glasses. (Those that are usually with more prominent and clear lenses with noticeable thickness.) Make sure your glasses meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Always remember to check the Z87 mark on glasses before buying them.
Such glasses will keep the little problematic objects that may penetrate your eyeball. Moreover, some safety spectacles come with an extra protection capability through their wraparound style. I want to mention that contact lenses can also provide an additional shield to your eye pupil and iris.
These are special and enhanced safety glasses that consist of high resistant and non-reactive glass material. You might have worn them in your chemistry laboratory at high school. Similarly, wear them in your worksites where chemicals are processed or produced.
Face Shields and Helmets:
Face shields are another type of eye safety equipment that covers not only your eyes but the whole face and a part of the neck. They minimize the chance of particles getting into your eyes by reflecting on your face. According to myweldingyard, Welders commonly use such safety shields to save eyes from flames, spatter, or metal pieces. Helmets provide improved safety against flashes, chemicals and bloodborne pathogens.
Some googles and safety helmets come with extra protection through filters. This particular equipment is beneficial for workers at nuclear reactors or miners.
Urgent Measures for eye injuries:
- In case of chemicals in the eye, wash your eyes for almost 15 minutes. Make sure water is pure. Do not try to neutralize the eye with another chemical. Also, do not apply a bandage.
- When particles enter your eye, avoid rubbing. You can try flushing your eye with water. But if it doesn’t work, uplift the upper eyelid and drag the lower eyelid a little and ask your mate to take that particle out with clean hands with plastic gloves.
- For blows in your eyes, gently press your eyes and wash them with cold water. You can also put ice on your ice for a cooling effect.
In any severe case, immediately rush to the hospital as any little time wastage can cost your vision.
Concludingly, taking safety measures can decrease eye damages by up to 90 percent. Your health is not to be compromised. By following the precautionary steps and using safety equipment, you can also save your eyesight.