July is Eye Injury Prevention Month, and whether we find ourselves at work, at home, playing sports, or anywhere where we need a little extra consideration for keeping the peepers safe, today’s blog has some good suggestions and guidelines.
In the Workplace
Of course workplace eye safety leaps to the top of anyone’s list, since that’s a typical setting for eye injury. According to the CDC:
“Each day about 2000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments and more than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days of lost work. The majority of these injuries result from small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye.”
CDC partner NIOSH offers a downloadable checklist employers can use as they assess the risk of eye injury in their particular workplaces.
Workplace Eye Safety Courses
Summit Training Source offers several eye injury prevention courses to help you make your workplace even safer:
Addresses OSHA 29 CFR 1910. 132
Your workers will develop a respect for eye protection and understand the life-long consequences from not using adequate eye protection. The program presents:
- Anatomy of the eye
- Hazard recognition
- Five most common eye hazards
- Dangers of UV and infrared light
- First aid procedures
- Selection, use, and care of eye protection
Eye Safety: Focused on Protection
Ensure your workers understand the life-long consequences from not using adequate eye protection in the workplace with this engaging course that covers:
- Workplace hazards
- Protective eyewear
- Best work practices
Eye Safety at Home
Aside from the workplace, MedicineNet.com recommends commonsense practices to follow in other settings where eye injury could occur, such as:
In the garden...put on protective eyewear before you use a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger and be sure to check for rocks and stones because they can become dangerous projectiles as they shoot from these machines. Do not forget the risk to bystanders when using these machines.
Around the car...battery acid, sparks and debris from damaged or improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use for those emergencies and everyday repairs.
What to Do for a Severe Eye Injury
Because they help determine facial appearance and function, traumatic injuries to the eyes, mouth, and face can have significant physical and emotional effects.
Objects that penetrate the surface of the eye require immediate professional medical care. Foreign bodies propelled at high speed present the highest risk.
Activate EMS. Immediate care requires stabilization of the object and reducing additional injury. Do not allow the person to rub the eye. Never try to remove an embedded object.
For small objects, cover both eyes with loose pads. Eyes move together. Covering both eyes prevents movement of the affected eye. Stabilize larger objects with a bulky, clean pad. Cover the uninjured eye with a loose pad.
Covering both eyes can be frightening. Stay with the person and calm, comfort, and reassure him to help reduce anxiety. Regularly assess the person until EMS arrives.
Small foreign objects on the surface of an eye will cause irritation and discomfort. Encourage the person to not rub the affected eye. Have the person blink several times to see if the eyelid or tearing can remove the object naturally. If he or she cannot, then flush the eye with tap water or saline eyewash solution. Flush outward from the nose side of the eye.
If pain continues or the person feels like something is still in the eye, cover the eye lightly with a gauze pad and seek professional medical care. If the person has been exposed to flying metal fragments (hammering, grinding, etc.), do not attempt removal. Seek professional medical care immediately.
Interested in learning more? A first aid class is a great place to start!