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    Workplace Eye Wellness Month: Tips for eye wellness, safety

    Mechanics build skills in RTS-Maintenance course at Fort McCoy

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Spc. Christopher Norwood with the 275th Quartermaster Company at Fort Pickett, Va.,...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office           

    March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. Each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment.

    About one third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments, and more than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days away from work.

    How do eye injuries happen to workers?
    * Striking or scraping — The majority of eye injuries result from small particles or objects striking or scraping the eye, such as dust, cement chips, metal slivers, and wood chips. These materials are often ejected by tools, windblown, or fall from above a worker. Large objects may also strike the eye or face, or a worker may run into an object, causing blunt-force trauma to the eyeball or eye socket.

    * Penetration — Objects like nails, staples, or slivers of wood or metal can go through the eyeball and result in a permanent loss of vision.

    * Chemical and thermal burns — Industrial chemicals or cleaning products are common causes of chemical burns to one or both eyes. Thermal burns to the eye also occur, often among welders. These burns damage workers’ eyes and surrounding tissue.

    How do workers acquire eye diseases?
    Eye diseases are often transmitted through the mucous membranes of the eye as a result of direct exposure to things like blood splashes, droplets from coughing or sneezing, or from touching the eyes with a contaminated finger or object.

    Eye diseases can result in minor reddening or soreness of the eye or in life-threatening diseases, such as HIV infection, hepatitis B, or avian influenza.

    What can workers do to prevent eye injury and disease?
    Wear personal protective eyewear, such as goggles, face shields, safety glasses, or full face respirators.

    The eye protection needed for specific work situations depends upon the nature and extent of the hazard, the circumstances of exposure, other protective equipment used, and personal vision needs.

    Eye protection should be fit to an individual or adjustable to provide appropriate coverage. It should be comfortable and allow for sufficient peripheral vision.

    What can employers do to prevent worker eye injury and disease?
    Employers can ensure safety measures are used to reduce eye injuries and to protect against infection exposures.

    Employers can conduct hazard assessments to determine the appropriate types of protective eyewear appropriate for given tasks.

    Randy Eddy, Installation Safety Office (ISO) manager at Fort McCoy, said eye safety is a top priority at the installation.

    “It’s important for workers to be aware of hazards that can cause eye injuries in their workplace and utilize the correct types of eye protection related to the hazards they are exposed to,” Eddy said. “The ISO has professional safety personnel who can assist organizations in identifying eye-hazard exposures within their work environments and recommend the appropriate protective eyewear.

    “Once appropriate eye protection has been determined, it is the responsibility of the individual to wear the protective eyewear when working within the hazardous environment,” Eddy said. “They should also report to their supervisor when protective eyewear is lost or damaged. Supervisors have the responsibility to ensure individuals wear the protective eyewear they are provided and keep an adequate supply on hand to replace worn-out or lost items.

    “Be proactive and protect your eyesight.”

    To find out more about workplace eye-health topics, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at

    (Article prepared by Centers for Disease Control. Information contributed by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office and Installation Safety Office.)



    Date Taken: 03.16.2018
    Date Posted: 03.16.2018 16:54
    Story ID: 269721
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

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