How to Keep Eyes Healthy at Work

Woman with eyeglasses working

Eyes are among the most critical organs in a human body. Eyes not only help one to recognize shapes and numerous colors; they help to manage light signals that are essential to our bodies. The functions of the eyes make them vulnerable, necessitating a person to take complete care of them. Most eye injuries occur at work, for example, the U.S.’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reporting over 2000 cases daily. Despite the high numbers and vulnerability, the good news is that protecting one’s eyes can reduce the severity or better still prevent over ninety percent of the cases from occurring.

In most cases, eye injuries result from chemicals and foreign objects getting into the eye. Additionally, other injuries can occur as a result of exposure to steam burns, ultraviolet rays as well as oil and grease splashes. Despite numerous causes, pointing at manual laborers, one can get eye injuries while working in any department within an organization. The two main reasons why people are prone to eye injuries are employees not having eye protection gears on and the use of the wrong type of protection.

Given the high number of employees suffering from eye injuries, questions linger on how best one can protect their eyes. One of the main things that cause eye injuries without people realizing is computers. Usually, people spend a lot of time behind their computers at work resulting in eyestrain. For people who use computers regularly, there are a few tips that one can use to reduce eye strain.


  1. Blinking often to help refresh one’s eyes

When using computers, there is a tendency for people to blink less than usual, behaviors that usually lead to dry eyes. However, one should make a point of blinking regularly to ensure they produce tears, which helps moisten and refresh your eyes.


  1. Take eye breaks

One should make taking the eye breaks a habit. When working on a computer, you should make a point of looking away from the monitor. One should use the 20-20-20 rule. The rule stipulates that one should look away from their computer every 20 minutes and look at a thing that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.


  1. Adjusting monitor settings

Third, the typical way of reducing eye injuries when using a computer is by adjusting the monitor. One should ensure that the monitor is positioned at least 20 inches away from them with the top of the monitor, preferably below the eye level.

To ensure you get the maximum comfort when using a monitor, one should check brightness, text size, and color temperatures.

The brightness of a monitor should match that of the surrounding work station. People suffer from eye strain, especially if they have to continually read small fonts. Hence, one should make a point of enlarging the same to offer their eyes a sort of break. In most cases, computers emit blue light, which is usually associated with eye strain compared to the other types. As such, you should reduce the color temperature to reduce eye strain cases.

  1. Adequately light the room

One should ensure adequate lighting in the room. Bright light and too much glare usually cause eye strain as one cannot see the monitor clearly. One should consider turning off any form of overhead lights. Additionally, one should use an adjustable source of light when typing.


How should manual laborers protect their eyes?

Apart from people using computers, other occupations that are high risk for eye injuries include construction, manufacturing, mining, carpentry, auto repair, plumbing, and welding. For these kinds of professions, causes of eye strain are different, and so is the type of eye protection needed. There are four main things one can do to protect their eyes from injuries in these occupations.

  1. Everybody should strive to identify eye safety dangers at their place of work.
  2. After potential risks have been identified, people should try to eliminate them before work commences using available engineering control.
  3. One must ensure that they have on eye protection gear.
  4. People should ensure that they have their safety eyewear in pristine condition and have replacements done in time if anything becomes damaged.


Types of protection

  1. Non-prescription and prescription safety glasses

When you look at safety glasses, what comes to mind? In most people’s views, safety glasses appear to be standard dress eyewear; however, the glasses are specifically designed to offer significant eye protection. Unlike standard safety glasses, they are sturdier with both frames and lenses made to provide maximum protection. In most cases, these glasses are used to protect one’s eyes in areas that are expected to have dust, chips, and flying particles. The lenses for the glasses are available in numerous forms, such as glass, plastic, and polycarbonate. Although the various types of glasses offer incredible safety, polycarbonate provides the best protection.


  1. Goggles

In most cases, goggles offer protection against impact, dust, and chemical splashes. Like safety glasses, goggles protect eyes, given their secure shield. However, they have an advantage as the guard offers protection against hazards originating from any direction. Additionally, another benefit of goggles is that it can be worn on top of other eyewear, such as safety glasses and contact lenses.


  1. Face Shields and Helmets

These two are used to protect workers, especially the ones that are usually exposed to chemicals, heats, and pathogens that may pose risks to their eyes. Helmets are explicitly designed to be worn by welders or people working with molten substances. However, when using helmets, one should ensure they use it with other eyewear, such as goggles.


Bottom line

Protecting your eyes is of utmost importance, given the numerous risks people are exposed to at work. Computers should be placed strategically to ensure that one minimizes the risk of suffering eye strains. Additionally, one should ensure they identify all potential eye hazards to maximize their protection. When purchasing eyewear, one should ensure they fit well to provide maximum protection. Also, one should ensure the eyewear is well maintained for maximum protection.   

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