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March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month
March 6, 2023
Thousands of people are blinded, injured, or killed each year from occupational accidents that could have been prevented or minimized if appropriate PPE had been used.1
To focus attention on eye wellness in the workplace, Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety nonprofit organization, has declared March Workplace Eye Wellness Month.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), there are 2,000 workplace eye injuries per day which require medical treatment. About 40% occur in the fields of construction, manufacturing, and mining. An estimated 90% of these injuries could have been prevented with proper safety eyewear protection.2
NIOSH also estimates that eye injuries cost $300 million a year in lost productivity, treatment, and compensation. Much of this cost can be avoided with certified and approved eye protection.
Focus on Function and Fit
Eye protection needs to be fitted to the individual or adjustable to ensure appropriate coverage. It should also be comfortable, since workers tend to remove or simply not wear PPE that is uncomfortable.
The type of safety eye protection you should wear depends on the hazards in your workplace. If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects, or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side shields). If you are working with chemicals, you should wear safety goggles. If you’re working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers, or fiber optics) you must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields, or helmets designed for that task.
Honeywell’s Uvex Avatar™ safety glasses are an excellent example of premium eye protection. They’re customizable for fit and feature premium anti-fog coating and anti-scratch hard coating. They’re designed with 9 base wraparound, indirect venting, wire-core temples and MMT-MULTI MATERIAL TECHNOLOGY® at every touchpoint for maximum all-day comfort and maximum.
Safety goggles provide more protection than safety glasses because they create a complete seal around the wearer’s eyes to keep out hazardous materials. Uvex Stealth® is a popular goggle on the market for its all-day comfort and optimum protection. It offers unmatched protection from serious hazards, high fog-free performance, and maximum UVB/UVA protection.
Many jobs such as chipping and grinding or chemical line-breaking require a combination of safety eyewear and a face shield. Face shields are designed to protect the face, but do not provide adequate eye protection. A face shield should never be used alone; it must always be used in conjunction with safety glasses or goggles. The new PrismShield™ Plus face shield provides superior and innovative protection and clearer vision for workers.
Emergency Eyewash stations are also critical for eye safety in a wide variety of workplaces. The Fendall 2000 Eyewash Station helps ensure compliance with ANSI Z358.1-2014 15-minute flush requirement for primary eyewash stations, using buffered and pH balanced saline.
Whatever the hazards at your workplace, focusing on appropriate eye protection may mean the difference between keeping or losing your vision.
“Practicing eye-healthy habits in the workplace today, like wearing proper eye protection…whenever possible, can help save our sight now and for years to come,” says Jeff Todd, President and CEO of Prevent Blindness.
For more information on eye safety solutions, visit sps.honeywell.com
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