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What You Need to Know About Workplace Eye Safety

Each working day in the United States, more than 2,000 employees sustain job-related eye injuries. Of these, 10 to 20 percent will be disabling because of temporary or permanent vision loss. This is due to the significant eye hazards present within many workplace settings that can lead to eye injury, vision loss, disability and blindness.

Although computer screens may cause uncomfortable eyestrain and dry eye symptoms they don't permanently damage vision. You may need to wear glasses when working at a computer or your prescription may need updating. In addition, an ergonomic evaluation of your workstation may identify problems that could lead to eyestrain.

While computer eyestrain may be uncomfortable, construction, automotive repair and manufacturing work can be physically hazardous to your eyes and vision. These occupations have the highest rate of workplace eye injuries.

Up to 90 percent of all job-related eye injuries can be prevented, so use eye protection whenever there is a chance that machines or activities could present a hazard from flying objects, chemicals, radiation or a combination of these or other dangers.

Many of those injured didn't think they needed to wear eye protection or were wearing eyewear inappropriate for the job. Safety eyewear must have "ANSI Z87.1" marked on the frame or lens. Check with your eye M.D. to learn about the eyewear appropriate for your occupation.

Source: American Academy of Opthalmology
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