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Keeping Your Patients’ Eyes Safe in the Workplace

Keeping Your Patients’ Eyes Safe in the Workplace

18 March 2020

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March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, which is an excellent opportunity to remind your patients about protecting their eyes at work. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about 25,000 people in the United States visit the emergency room each year because of a work-related eye injury. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that workplace eye injuries cost more than $300 million a year in medical treatment, lost productivity and worker’s compensation. Fortunately, about 90 percent of these eye injuries are preventable.

When you hear about eye injuries, most people think of jobs involving physical labor such as construction, auto repairs or maintenance. However, many other occupations can put eye health at risk.

Some common workplace hazards include:

  • Small projectiles that can enter the eye including dust, wood, metal, concrete and paint. People who work in landscaping, construction, auto repairs or plumbing are at risk.
  • Chemicals (including fumes) such as bleach, ammonia and disinfectants. Those who work in janitorial, construction, medical or scientific industries may be exposed to chemicals regularly.
  • Radiation, including X-rays, ultraviolet rays, lasers, welding processes and electrical sparks.
  • Infections from exposure to pathogens via direct contact, bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces. Medical professionals, such as doctors or nurses, are especially at risk.

Recommend Proper Eyewear for the Workplace

When discussing eye health with patients, inquire about their occupation to uncover any specific needs. You can consult OSHA to find out eye protection standards for different professions. Safety glasses must also meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards.

Here are some general guidelines from the American Optometric Association:

  • If working around small projectiles, workers must use safety glasses with side shields.
  • If working with chemicals, workers must wear goggles.
  • If working with radiation or thermal exposure, workers must use the appropriate face shield, helmet, goggles or glasses designated for their job.

Additionally, a majority of workers across all professions spend several hours on a computer, smartphone or tablet. There is a growing need for specific eyewear to protect against digital eye strain.

Drive Optical Sales With a Second Pair

You can help patients protect their eye health by recommending a second pair of eyewear for their workplace needs. At R&D Optical, we specialize in occupational eyewear, including prescription safety glasses, suitable for mechanics, plumbers, electricians, pilots, athletes and more.

We offer frames from high-quality providers including: Art Craft Workforce, ArmorX, On-Guard, Hudson Protective Eyewear and Titmus. Also, we offer our optical providers a 20 percent discount off the entire job (including the frame) for all safety eyewear. Our turnaround times are very fast and our quality is impeccable. Please visit our website or call us at 513-273-4034 to learn more about our safety eyewear and other optical products. And for more tips and our latest updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or LinkedIn!

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