1. The Importance of
Eye Protection for Work
Produced by the
American Optometric Association
2. Eye Safety is Everyone’s Business!
3. Question 1: A majority of workplace eye injuries happen to workers who were not wearing adequate eye protection. True
4. Answer: True
Approximately 60% of workers with eye injuries in a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) study were not wearing the proper protective eyewear at the time of their injury. Also, many of these injuries were to bystanders.
5. Question 2: Chemical burns are the leading cause of eye injuries in the workplace. True
6. Answer: False
Chemical burns accounted for only 20% of the injuries. Nearly 70% came from flying debris, sparks and small objects striking the eye. Of these, many were moving at high speed to embed in the eye.
7. Question 3: If an object is embedded in a patient’s eye, do not cover the injured eye. True
8. Answer: False
First, call for emergency help. After calling, the immediate first aid is to cover both eyes to prevent the injured eye from moving with the healthy one. Remain as calm as possible.
9. Question 4: After injury, the eye usually heals with no major long-term complications. True
10. Answer: True
While TRUE statistically, small scars main remain, impairing vision; and, when eyes don’t heal, the result can be total blindness!
11. Question 5: Employers are required to provide face and eye protection to workers at risk for job-related eye injuries. True
12. Answer: True
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require employers to provide suitable eye protection to workers.
13. Question 6: Protective eyewear must be properly fitted to be effective. True
14. Answer: True
Of the eye injuries which occurred to workers wearing eye protection, 94% were caused by particles or chemicals striking the eye from around or under the protective shield. Protective ocular equipment broke in only 1.3% of the cases.
15. Question 7: Training employees on the proper use of protective eyewear can reduce workplace eye injuries. True
16. Answer: True
A large majority of employers provide protective eye equipment; however, a much smaller portion provide training for its proper use.
Making sure workers USE the proper protection in the proper situation is just as important as providing the protective equipment.
17. Question 8: Construction workers are at a low risk of workplace eye injury. True
18. Answer: False
Construction, mining, and manufacturing have had the highest incidence of eye injuries in recent years.
Many injuries occur with both power tools (welders, grinders, drills) and hand tools (hammers and saws).
19. Question 9: Workplace eye injuries result in millions of dollars of losses for employees and companies. True
20. Answer: True
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over $924 million of workers’ compensation payments resulting from workplace eye injuries in 2001, and almost $4 billion of lost wages and productivity for the same year.
21. Question 10: New occupational tasks can result in new vision needs. True
22. Answer: True
A change in one’s job tasks may require different focusing abilities. This is especially true for workers over 40 years old. Be sure to visit your optometrist for a thorough eye exam to assess how your vision, job performance and job safety can be enhanced.
23. Don’t Forget: Home and Recreation Yard work, wood working, cleaning!
24. In addition to foreign bodies, eyes need to be protected against: Harmful Ultraviolet (UV) Rays
Choose quality sunglasses that
block UV light; clear lenses can
be coated to protect from UV
Eyestrain Due to Computer Use
Use spectacles designed for a
particular workplace situation
25. Prevent Injuries Before They Happen Many eye injuries can be prevented.
The American Optometric Association encourages the use of protective eyewear that meets the standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).