April 27, 2022
Wearing safety eyewear should be routine, given it is the best way to stay safe from eye injuries. April is National Sports Eye Safety Month, and we will review the importance of safety eyewear in sports as well as home and the workplace. It is necessary to wear safety eyewear when there is any risk of a face or eye injury.
Although it is a requirement in several workplaces, wearing safety eyewear should be everyone's responsibility. Being aware of any dangers in your workplace is essential, and using common knowledge to assess your work area is vital. You should apply it in your home and during recreational sports or other activities that may pose potential risks to your eyes.
You Can Injure Your Eyes Anytime, Anywhere
Workplace Eye Injury claims that 44 percent of injuries to the eyes happen at home, while 40 percent are sports related. Fifteen percent of all injuries to the eyes occur at workplaces.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) offers guidelines on when to put on safety eyewear in the workplace. However, there is no guidance for safety eyewear in the home or during recreational activities. Education on wearing safety eyewear can help prevent at least 90 percent of injuries to the eyes.
Safety eyewear is an excellent defense protocol for protecting your eyes while
engaging in an activity.
Eye Hazards Are Everywhere
An eye hazard refers to any imminent risk or danger to the eye. Eye hazards are sometimes predictable. They can be everywhere, with some more prevalent than others.
The top hazards are:
Blunt trauma occurs when something hits the eye. It is the most common cause of sports-related eye injuries. Activities that can result in blunt trauma include basketball, water sports, baseball, and racquet sports
Most chemical exposures and burns are caused by a splash of the liquid getting into the eye, but they can also occur in other ways, such as rubbing your eyes and transferring the chemical from your hands to your eyes.
Foreign Objects in the Eye
Foreign objects can happen anywhere, frequent causes are sanding or grinding without protective eyewear and a small piece or chip will lodge itself in the eye.
Corneal Abrasions or an Eye Scratch
Landscaping or yardwork often lead to abrasions, a twig or tree can be unseen or come loose and scratch the surface of the eye. Another common injury is a child’s fingernail hitting a parents eye while playing or being held.
Put on Safety Eyewear
According to experts, knowing when to put safety eyewear on is critical to preventing eye injuries. It would be best to put on safety eyewear when working in conditions or tasks that commonly cause eye injury.
Consider wearing safety glasses while doing these tasks: Hanging household pictures or nailing items, using power tools of any nature, strapping down truck loads or using bungee cords to secure a load, anytime chemicals are being used i.e., powdered bleach for a pool, all pose unseen risks that can be prevented with safety eyewear.
Identifying Hazards in the Workplace
Studies say that most workers getting injuries to the eyes were not wearing any safety eyewear. This is because they did not think they needed it. Knowing when to have safety eyewear on is a major issue. Workers should have a good idea of what hazardous materials are and an understanding of situations when safety eyewear is necessary.
Sports Related Eyewear
It is National Sports Eye Safety Month so let’s review what sports need eyewear and the best kind! One of the leading causes of blindness in children is eye injuries, and most of these injuries are sports related. What makes this even more devastating is that, according to the National Eye Institute, up to 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.
Sports where eye safety is a particular concern are lacrosse, archery, swimming, football, hockey, and snowboarding or skiing. For these sports, you can usually find specialized face masks or goggles alongside the other protective equipment.
For sports like soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, and biking, a good eye protection option is polycarbonate glasses or goggles. Polycarbonate is a much stronger material than regular plastic and resists shattering when something strikes them. Often times these goggles can be specifically made to match vision prescriptions so the athlete doesn’t have to wear their goggles and glasses at the same time!
If you are interested in safety eyewear or being fit with sports related goggles or glasses call East Main Vision Clinic in Puyallup, Washington at (253) 780-0700. We can answer any questions or discuss the right eyewear options for you!