Eye Injury Prevention Month

We hear about on-the-job injuries, but injuries can happen at home, too. As the season turns to fall and temperatures mellow, many people take advantage of the nice weather to do home improvement projects. While home is normally a safe place to be, if proper care is not taken during these maintenance projects, injuries can happen.

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With October being Eye Injury Prevention Month, it’s a good reminder to pay special attention to eye safety around the house. One of the easiest ways to prevent injury is to don protective eyewear. Unfortunately, only 35 percent of Americans wear protective gear. Just by wearing protective goggles, people lower the risk of sustaining injuries to the eyes dramatically.

Health authorities highly recommend keeping a pair of protective goggles in the toolbox where they are easy to see and put on. It’s a built in reminder to keep your eyes safe.

The alternative is not a desirable one. In the workplace, over 2,000 people hurt their eyes daily. One in 10 of these injuries leads to one or more days of not being able to return to the workplace. Additionally, 10 percent of these injuries can lead to short-term or permanent loss of vision.

Flying objects such as bits of metal or glass can easily hit the eye. Tools that don’t work properly can flick material into the eye. Harmful chemicals can also compromise the eyes.

Fortunately, 90 percent of workplace eye injuries can be dodged with the use of protective goggles or other eyewear. The same principle applies to home use. Protective goggles do not cost a lot. Every household should have at least one pair. Goggles can be made of glass, plastic, or polycarbonate lenses and purchased at the local home improvement store. Plastic and polycarbonate are lighter weight than glass, but glass is not easily scratched. Polycarbonate goggles are better at resisting impact than either glass or plastic.

Ocular trauma is one of the leading causes of eye injuries and loss of eyesight. Most of these injuries can be easily prevented. Always be careful and wear goggles before doing any carpentry or maintenance work.