Academy Medical Services

Keep an Eye On It: Celebrate National Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month

Medical Surgeon

Approximately 2000 workers experience a work-related eye injury that requires medical attention each day in the United States. Of these injuries, one-third are treated in an emergency facility and more than 100 injuries result in the employee being off work for more than one day.

The majority of eye injury incidents are the result of small particles or objects coming into contact with or rubbing against the eye. Examples of items that could cause eye injuries in the workplace are metal shavings, wood particles, and chemicals. However, other eye injuries occur due to larger objects or due to workplace environmental factors such as radiation or welding flash.

Healthcare employees face an even larger spectrum of eye injury hazards, as they are at risk of contracting infectious illnesses and disease through ocular exposure. Also, healthcare professionals are at risk for contracting infectious diseases through the mucous membrane of the eye by job hazards such as blood splashes or water droplets from coughing.

With looming hazards like the ones above, it is important for employees to follow a standard list of eye safety guidelines in the healthcare field.

For eye injuries not pertaining to infectious disease use the following steps:

  • Ensure a safe work environment free of potential debris, and ensure all safety tools are in place.
  • Be aware of potential hazards and educate those within the work area, including guests, of potential hazards.
  • Wear proper eye and face protection that is in good condition and up to safety standards.
  • Use good work practices by keeping the work area clean. Avoid rubbing your eyes and clean your hands and eyewear regularly.
  • Prepare for eminent eye injury situations with first aid kits and readily available eye wash stations.

For eye injuries pertaining to infectious disease use the following steps:

  • Wash hands after patient contact and avoid touching your eyes entirely.
  • Wear protective eye and face protection such as googles, face shields and full-face respiratory masks.

To learn more about safety measures you should be taking to avoid eye injuries in the workplace, visit here.


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