March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. The observance is significant considering that 2,000 Americans suffer from eye injuries each day. Some have even experienced vision loss because of eye injury. In the workplace, eye injuries result in a $300 million loss each year in terms of work time, medical expenses, and workmen’s compensation.
Work-related eye injuries do not occur only in outdoor pursuits such as construction and agriculture. They also occur in the office and at home, when people perform normal day-to-day activities such as cleaning and cooking.
People performing do-it-yourself work are also prone to eye injuries. An estimated 30,000 eye injuries are related to DIY projects each year,with flying wood, concrete chips, or metal serving as the culprits.
If you are contemplating a DIY project, be sure to wear protective eyewear, especially when performing activities such as chiselling, drilling, hammering, stripping paint, welding, and painting.
Protective eyewear must conform to government safety standards. Regular eyeglasses cannot provide the same protection as the protective eyewear prescribed for construction work. If you wear eyeglasses, you can wear your protective eyewear over your glasses, or you can order prescription goggles from your optometrist.
Tips for Eye Protection During DIY Work
Protect your eyes from injury while performing DIY activities with the following tips:
- Follow the instructions for the proper use of DIY equipment. If the instructions require you to wear protective clothing, make sure to comply.
- Wear eye protection. Studies show that 90 percent of workplace eye injuries could be prevented with the right eyewear. If in doubt about appropriate eyewear, talk to your optometrist.
- Keep your goggles on at all times. Many injuries occur when people take off their eyewear to take a closer look at something.
- Do not rub your eyes, especially when working with paint and other chemicals. If something gets in your eye, seek medical help right away.
Eye injuries and vision loss can occur in split-second accidents. Don’t fall prey to sloppy safety habits. Even at-home DIY projects require proper eye protection.