Eye Injury Prevention Month
July is Eye Injury Prevention Month. Many of us have experienced some type of eye injury be it at home, work, or playing a sport. I have seen many people, while at work and at home, fail to use personal protective equipment to protect their eyes. It is so easy to wear eye protection, but many people either fail to put it on, don’t wear the correct protection, or just do not wear it.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Each day about 2000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments and more than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days of lost work. The majority of these injuries result from small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye.” Did you know, according to MedicinNet.com “Accidental eye injury is one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the United States.”
Many injuries occur at home while we are taking care of our chores like cutting the lawn, working on the family vehicle, working around the house, in the workshop, or even in the garden.
Here is some great information from MedicineNet.com. Basic commonsense practices to follow to help prevent eye injuries.
In the house…when using household chemicals, read instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and make sure to point spray nozzles away from you. Many chemicals are extremely hazardous and can permanently destroy the surface of your eyes, resulting in blindness.
In the workshop…think about the work you will be doing and wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from flying fragments, fumes dust particles, sparks and splashing chemicals. Many objects can fly into your eyes unexpectedly and cause injury.
In the garden…put on protective eyewear before you use a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger and be sure to check for rocks and stones because they can become dangerous projectiles as they shoot from these machines. Do not forget the risk to bystanders when using these machines.
In the workplace…wear appropriate safety eyewear for your job. Many of the 2,000 employees who are injured each day didn’t think they needed eye protection or were wearing eyewear inappropriate for the job.
Around the car…battery acid, sparks and debris from damaged or improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use for those emergencies and everyday repairs.
Prevention is the first and most important step in protecting your eyes from injuries, so be sure to protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear. If you do experience an eye injury, seek medical attention promptly.
What to Do for a Severe Eye Injury – This information is sited from the Health and Safety Institute (HSI)
Because they help determine facial appearance and function, traumatic injuries to the eyes, mouth, and face can have significant physical and emotional effects.
Objects that penetrate the surface of the eye require immediate professional medical care. Foreign bodies propelled at high speed present the highest risk.
Activate EMS. Immediate care requires stabilization of the object and reducing additional injury. Do not allow the person to rub the eye. Never try to remove an embedded object.
For small objects, cover both eyes with loose pads. Eyes move together. Covering both eyes prevents movement of the affected eye. Stabilize larger objects with a bulky, clean pad. Cover the uninjured eye with a loose pad.
Covering both eyes can be frightening. Stay with the person and calm, comfort, and reassure him to help reduce anxiety. Regularly assess the person until EMS arrives.
Small foreign objects on the surface of an eye will cause irritation and discomfort. Encourage the person to not rub the affected eye. Have the person blink several times to see if the eyelid or tearing can remove the object naturally. If he or she cannot, then flush the eye with tap water or saline eyewash solution. Flush outward from the nose side of the eye.
If pain continues or the person feels like something is still in the eye, cover the eye lightly with a gauze pad and seek professional medical care. If the person has been exposed to flying metal fragments (hammering, grinding, etc.), do not attempt removal. Seek professional medical care immediately.
If you would like to learn more about treating injuries, then join us for one of our CPR/AED and Basic First Aid classes.
SCS Safety Health & Security LLC works with businesses to help keep their employees safe, lower workers compensation and fleet / auto insurance policy premiums. In addition they help to get a company safety compliant by conducting job site safety inspections, developing written safety programs, and conducting safety meetings. In addition they offer OSHA 10 and 30 hr courses, for the construction industry. If your employees need CPR/AED, Basic First Aid, and or Bloodborne Pathogen certification, they can handle that too. Check out their monthly CPR/AED and Basic First Aid Classes in the Leesburg VA area.
To discuss arranging safety meetings, training for your team, or any of their other services, reach out to Stacy via email at Stacys@scssafetyandhealth.com or by phone at (703) 779-7330. We are your partner in safety and here to help.
NIOSH Eye Safety Check List
NIOSH – Eye Safety – Emergency Response & Disaster Recovery