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Prevent blindness declares March as workplace wellness month

Article

The month will help to bring awareness to eye safety in the workplace and keep eyes safe and protected on the job.

A woman working with heavy machinery while wearing protective eye glasses.

Prevent Blindness has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month to help keep eyes healthy, safe and protected on the job. (Image Credit: Adobe Stock/NVB Stocker)

Prevent Blindness has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month to help keep eyes healthy, safe and protected on the job.

According to a press release from the organization1, every year thousands of workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that 90% of these eye injuries could be avoided by wearing proper eye protection.

Some common causes of workplace eye injuries include:

  • Flying objects (bits of metal, glass)

  • Tools

  • Particles

  • Chemicals

  • Harmful radiation

  • Any combination of these or other hazards

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers are required by law to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment. Additionally, eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards.

Workers who use digital devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones for their jobs are also at risk for eye strain, headaches, and eye fatigue, according to Prevent Blindness.

Cedars-Sinai lists these factors as contributors to a greater risk of digital eye strain:

  • Spend a few hours or more a day at a computer or on a digital device.

  • Are too close to your computer or digital device screen.

  • View your computer or digital device at the wrong angle.

  • Have bad posture while using your computer or digital device.

  • Have eye problems (even minor ones) not corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

  • Have a pair of glasses that is not suitable for viewing the distance of your computer.

  • Don’t take breaks while you are working.

To help employers educate workers on eye protection and safety, Prevent Blindness offers a Workplace Safety module as part of its free program, the Healthy Eyes Educational Series. The module includes a Presentation Guide and corresponding PowerPoint presentation.

Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, talked more in-depth about the importance of maintaining proper eye health in the workplace in the release.

“Maintaining healthy vision is a critical part of maintaining overall good health for working adults,” said Todd. “We strongly urge everyone to talk to their eye doctor about the best ways to keep eyes healthy at their jobs today and for years to come.

According to the organization, Prevent Blindness is the nation's leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research.

References:
  1. March Declared as Workplace Eye Wellness Month by Prevent Blindness in Effort to Help Keep Eyes Healthy and Safe, Protected at Work. Press release. Prevent Blindness; February 28, 2023. Accessed March 6, 2023. https://preventblindness.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Workplace2023releasenational.pdf
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