How Do You Prevent Eye Injuries in the Workplace?

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EyeQue Team

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March 1, 2019

Construction worker protecting his eyes with goggles.

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Did you know that wearing the right eye protection can prevent 90% of work-related eye injuries?  Physical trauma to the eyes or burns are the main causes of eye injuries. Some eye injuries on the job range from simple eye strain (from computer use in offices) to severe eye injuries that can cause blindness or permanent vision loss.

Potential Workplace Eye Dangers

Do you work in an environment that could hurt your eyes? Here are some common items/workplace situations that can cause eye injuries:

  • Computer Screens: prolonged exposure to computer screens can lead to computer vision syndrome. This can lead to headaches, red/dry eyes, tension in the neck and shoulders, and blurred vision.
  • Flying Particles: items like small wood chips, concrete dust, bits of metal can cause physical trauma to the eye.
  • Blunt Trauma: large items in the workplace such as metal beams, rods, or pieces of wood can hit your eye socket or eyeball.
  • Physical Burns: working with ovens, welding equipment or torches can cause severe burns. Even working in a highly reflective environment such as the water or snow can cause corneal burns known as photokeratitis.
  • Chemical Burns: happen if a solid or liquid chemical or chemical fumes get into the eye. Some common chemicals that can cause eye injuries are ammonia, disinfectants, strong acids, and alkali substances.
  • Biohazards: infectious diseases are transmitted via blood or bodily fluids.

Eye Safety Tips

Woman rubbing her eyes near a computer.
Working at a computer in the office can cause computer vision syndrome.


Depending on your work environment, these tips can help you protect your eyes from work-related injuries:

  • Use the 20-20-20 Rule: Take breaks from digital devices using the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from the screen after 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and focus on something 20 feet away.
  • Wear Safety Glasses: Safety glasses are specifically made with lenses that can withstand impact. They are typically classified as either high impact or low impact.
  • Wear Safety Goggles: Safety goggles are also specifically made to withstand impact. Unlike glasses, goggles typically shield the entire eye area and are secured to the back of your head.
  • Wear a Helmet or Face shield: You can wear a helmet with a protective visor to protect your eyes from hazardous work conditions. A face shield is a device that protects your face and your eyes from different hazards. It typically covers your face from a helmet.

These are just general recommendations for workplace eye safety. The eyecare tips you will need depends on your specific work environment. For more information about what you need in your workplace, we recommend talking to an eye care professional.

Eye care professional talking to male patient
Talk to an eye care professional about potential eye hazards on the job.

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