The statistics on eye safety – especially as it applies to the workplace – make for a sobering read.
A release from the Center for Disease Control revealed that than 2,000 workers in the United States alone receive some form of medical treatment due to eye injuries suffered at work…every single day. On a yearly basis more than 800,000 eye injuries occur at the work place.
A sample of 300,000 work-related eye injuries that resulted in visits to a hospital emergency room was closely examined. This sample amounted to 22.2 cases (roughly one quarter) per 10,000 full time employees. 70% of the recorded injuries resulted from “contact with an object or equipment.” 26% was caused by “exposure to harmful substances or environments.” These factors include:
Perhaps even more alarming than these statistics is the fact that they account only for work injuries. They do not factor in eye injuries that occur while mowing the lawn, trimming branches, woodworking at a home shop, are incurred during automotive repair, performing house maintenance, or hundreds of other non-workplace tasks that place your eyesight at risk.
Since danger cannot be avoided, it should at least be mitigated by proper safety procedures. Primary amongst these is eye protection in the form of safety glasses. Safety glasses are constructed of impact-resistant frames and Trivex or polycarbonate lenses to withstand strikes from flying debris, chemical splashes, accidental eye contact, sparks, dust, grit, sawdust, or any object that can get into and damage your eyes.
A very large majority of the eye injures described above could have been prevented by the use of a simple, cost-effective pair of safety glasses. So why are so many people resistant to wearing them? One factor is that the stigma of “weakness” still persists, but this way of thinking is dangerous; no matter how tough you think you are, a rock kicked up by a lawnmower blade will damage your eye, and if that happens I guarantee you that you won’t care how cool you looked now that you can’t see anymore. Besides, modern safety glasses are available in so many styles and frame types that they can be indistinguishable from regular glasses or sunglasses.
Another complaint, from anyone wearing corrective eyeglasses, is that they cannot see clearly when wearing safety glasses. It’s true that maintaining clear vision while performing a potentially dangerous task is as important as protecting your eyes from mishaps. But these days safety glasses are available in the same prescription formats as regular glasses. Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, bifocal, progressives – any and all visual issues can easily be corrected with today’s affordable technology.
So don’t let excuses put the health of your eyes and the future of your vision at risk. If you wear prescription glasses and perform potentially dangerous tasks at work or at home, get yourself a pair of prescription safety glasses. They’ll allow you to see what you’re doing today and protect your eyes so you can see what you’re doing tomorrow.
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