Prevent Blindness the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety group, has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month to provide employers and employees with free information on the best ways to keep vision healthy on the job.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. Common causes of eye injuries in the workplace can range from flying objects such as pieces of metal or glass to particles in the air or the handling of chemicals.
The proper eye protection depends on the hazards in the workplace. For example, for those working in areas with particles, flying objects, or dust, employees must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields). If working with chemicals, appropriate goggles should be always be worn. If working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics), special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task should be worn.
Even office workers are not immune to the hazards to your eyes. Computer use combined with the personal use of digital devices such as tablets and smartphones increases the risk of digital eye strain. Symptoms may include blurred vision, dry eyes or headaches. The Vision Council reports that more than 87 percent of individuals ages 18 to 39, more than 82 percent of individuals ages 40 to 59, and 76 percent of individuals ages 60 and up use digital devices for more than two hours per day. Blue light exposure received from digital screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun. And yet, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them.
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