Sixty per cent of all eye injuries happen at work making it imperative for employers and employees to reduce the risk of eye accidents.
Most eye injuries can be prevented making sure you have appropriate prescription and non-prescription eyewear for the work you’re doing.
Optometrists around Australia are conducting vision screenings with local businesses as part of Optometrists Association and HOYA Lens Australia’s Workplace Eye Safety campaign. Optometrists can offer eye health and vision screenings, professional consultation, and individually tailored programs for local businesses to help keep employees safe from eye injuries.
Why should your company participate in a Workplace Eye Safety review?
Your optometrist can:
- collaborate with your OH&S personnel or management to develop or refine an eye safety policy.
- evaluate your workplace for eye hazards
- assess the occupational vision requirements of each employee.
- offer your employees a complete service, from vision screenings to supplying prescription and non-prescription safety glasses,
- ensure eyewear fits properly and comfortably
- provide eye safety information for safety meetings, including a poster and brochures display in staff and lunch rooms.
- arrange, on request, an on-site presentation on eye health and safety for your staff.
You may be contacted by an optometrist offering this service, or you can contact your local optometrist.
- Download ‘Looking after your eyes’ brochure (1.4mb)
- Media release 1: Workplace eye safety in focus (1.71kb)
- Media release 2: Optometrists have safer workplaces in sight (1.73kb)
- Download media backgrounder (0.90kb)
Most eye injuries in the home can be prevented by taking simple precautions. Many home maintenance or DIY projects require eye protection.
The most common causes of eye injuries are:
- Visible radiation
- Ultraviolet radiation
Eye safety around the house
- When necessary call in an expert with the appropriate skills and protection.
- If doing the job yourself, investigate ways to reduce the risk of eye damage.
- Take special care when using cleaning products or harsh chemicals.
- Wear safety goggles or a face shield when using powerful chemicals to protect your eyes from splashes and fumes.
Eye safety around the garden
- Pick up stones and twigs before mowing the lawn
- Keep others away from the mowing area
- Wear safety glasses or goggles especially when chopping or splitting wood, trimming bushes and trees, or using whipper snippers.
- Be careful when using octopus straps. Pull the strap to the side of the body rather than towards the face.
Eye safety in the workshop and for DIY projects
- Always wear goggles or safety glasses when appropriate, preferably rated medium impact.
- Read the instructions for all tools and chemicals before use.
- Keep all tools and power equipment in good repair.
- Extinguish cigarettes or matches before working around flamable material or opening the bonnet of a car.
- Always wear eye protection when sawing, hammer.
The main types of eye protection are safety glasses, safety goggles and face shields.
Don’t be put off wearing the appropriate protection by fogging and ill-fitting eyewear. You can buy anti-fogging lenses and anti-fogging lens wipes.
- look like regular spectacles but the lenses are more durable
- provide better protection against flying debris
- may be low impact (no marking) or medium impact (marked with an I)
- should also provide side protection.
If you have a vision problem, you can use specially made glasses that have corrective lenses.
- fit snugly around your eyes
- may offer an extra level of protection above that provided by safety glasses
- may be low or medium impact
- cover your upper face
- have much the same function as goggles but are less likely to fog
- may be low or medium impact
Spectacles can be worn beneath an eye shield.
- cover your entire face
- may be low impact, medium impact or high impact (marked with a V)
Spectacles can be worn beneath a face shield.
Helmets or goggles with special filters are available to provide more protection for welders or people working with lasers.
- Do not rub the eye.
- In the case of cuts, punctures or embedded objects, do not wash the eye or try to remove objects.
- In the event of chemical burns or dust in the eye, flush the eye with plenty of cold water for at least 15 minutes.
- If an eye injury occurs, see an optometrist or ophthalmologist or go to your nearest hospital as soon as possible. The full extent of the damage is not always apparent and even a seemingly minor injury may cause permanent damage if it is not treated immediately.