Safety in the workplace involves much more than avoiding slips, falls, and heavy lifting. It also includes taking precautions to protect your eyes. It is important that you wear appropriate eye protection to stay on the job and out of the emergency room.
Each day, about 2,000 workers in the United States sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical attention. This is particularly true for workers in the construction, manufacturing, or mining industries. Workplace eye injuries can range from simple strain, to traumas that could cause permanent damage or even blindness. It is estimated that 90 percent of these on-the-job injuries can be avoided with proper eye protection.
Here are our top five tips to help you avoid eye injury or strain in the workplace:
1 – Wear protective eyewear
The best way to protect your eyes from debris or a foreign object is by wearing proper eye protection. This is especially important if there is risk for flying debris, falling objects, chemicals, bright light, or intense heat in your workplace. Always make sure that your eyewear is American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved and OSHA compliant.
2 – Add distance between your eyes and your screen
If you work in an office and spend most of your day looking at a computer, you likely experience eye strain. Position your computer screen or monitor about an arm’s length away from your face to help reduce the impact on your eyes. Increase font sizes or zoom on pages to compensate for the additional distance.
3 – Follow the 20-20-20 rule
Another way to reduce strain on your eyes is by following the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break every 20 minutes to look at an object that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This allows your eyes to relax and blink at a normal rate. Regular blinking keeps your eyes from feeling dry.
4 – Reduce glare from your phone or tablet
Your phone, tablet, or other favorite digital device produces a strong glare that can aggravate your eyes. Lower the brightness on your screen or use a matte filter to help reduce strain.
5 – Adjust the lighting in your work space
If your computer screen at your desk is brighter than the room around you, your eyes must work harder to see. Adjust the lighting surrounding your work space to help reduce eye strain.
These small adjustments can make a big difference for your overall eye health.