They say that if we are mindful of our health, we can always find ways to achieve productivity, success, and consequently, happiness. In this context, the significance of something as precious and crucial as eye health cannot be emphasized enough.
Poor eye health can severely impact the quality of an employee’s performance at work. Moreover, bad eye health has far-reaching consequences, and affects how employees experience their day-to-day lives as well.
Since working professionals and employees spend many long hours in their workplaces, they must remain aware of the constant risks to their eye safety and health in their workspaces. Such risks can come from different potential eye hazards such as chemicals, concrete, dust, radiation, and bloodborne pathogens like HIV and hepatitis.
Eye injuries at work and consequently impaired vision are not too uncommon. However, the good news is that we can always maintain the safety and health of our eyes, just by keeping a few simple steps in mind.
Employers and organizations have a responsibility to ensure maximum safety for their employees. Certain precautions and protocols can help achieve that, and in turn, control employee health care costs and improve employee job satisfaction, productivity, and performance.
Let us learn all about taking care of eye health in the workplace in this article.
Risks to Eye Health in the Workplace
Be it a job at a construction site or a desk job in a corporate office, the risks to eye health and safety are many. Below is a list of a few of the potential dangers that both employers and employees can keep in mind:
1. Eye Injuries
Employees may suffer from a range of eye injuries, from cuts to burns. Prolonged exposures to ultraviolet light, bright lights, harmful chemicals cause damages to the eyes as well. Jobs that constitute welding and spraying put employees at high risk to suffer from eye injuries.
2. Exposure to Blue Light Radiation
In the case of employees in the corporate sector, exposure to blue light radiation is a constant source of worry for their eye health. This is so because most corporate sector employees spend 6 to 7 hours a day in front of laptops, tablets, computers, and cell phones – all of which have LED backlights.
Electronic devices have a high percentage of High Energy Visible (HEV) backlight, which is known to be the most dangerous light for the condition of the retina in the eyes. Apart from this, exposure to blue light can also cause employees to suffer from eyestrain at work.
Ways to Prevent Eye Injuries in the Workplace
Eye injuries in the workplace can be prevented by taking some simple yet effective precautions in the workplace.
1. Provide appropriate eye protection gear
Employers, supervisors, and managers should provide appropriate eye protection gear to their employees, depending on the level of the risk involved in a job.
For instance, in low-risk jobs, such as hammering or riveting, safety glasses work just fine. Whereas in jobs and tasks with a much higher level of risk involved, workers should be provided face shields, helmets, and filters.
2. Take Mindful Precautions to Eliminate Risk Factors
Seemingly small precautions can go a long way. Employers should ensure that all the high-risk equipment is kept separately. All safety equipment should be within reach, and supervisors should ensure a routine check about the working condition of this equipment.
Moreover, all workplaces should have adequate ventilation systems to remain airy, fresh, and dust-free. Employers should make sure to replace hazardous chemicals and substances in the worksite with safer alternatives, if available.
Lastly, safety barriers should be installed in the workplace, and operators should ensure that they follow the safety guidelines and user instructions provided by the equipment manufacturer.
3. Employees Should Do the Needful
Apart from employers and supervisors taking appropriate steps to ensure eye safety and eye health for workers, employees too should do the needful to keep their eye health in the best condition possible.
Employees should ensure that they do not spend too much time staring at a screen at a stretch. Regular breaks from screen time are very much an essential aspect of maintaining eye health by working professionals. Secondly, employees should also ensure that they use anti-glare screens on their electronic devices. Regular eye check-ups and over-the-counter tear drops can also diminish the chances of having impaired vision and dry eyes.
According to reports by Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), around 2000 workers in the US sustain eye injuries at work each day. This statistic should point to the importance of maintaining eye health and safety in the workplace. Having good eye health increases employee productivity, employee wellness and enhances their quality of life. With a few precautions, both employers and employees can positively impact the latter’s eye health in the workplace.