Occupational Eye Health
Eye hazards are everywhere, even in the workplace. Watch for the following:
Workers exposed to particles in trades such as grinding, sawing, metalwork, and sandblasting are at high risk for getting foreign bodies in their eyes. Metals which contain iron are a particular danger because the eye can react with the iron and crate rust.
Particles which become imbedded in the eye must be removed with special instruments under a magnifying lens. In most cases, the eye heals within 24 hours. All workers exposed to particles should wear proper protective eyewear to prevent injuries.
Any chemical splash in the eye can be dangerous. Acids, caustic bases, and enzymes are among the most damaging, because they can injure the proteins in the eye.
- Prevention is the best medicine. Wear protective goggles or shields when transferring, mixing, or dispensing chemical hazards.
- The best treatment for a chemical injury to the eye is an eyewash applied immediately.
- Consult a physician for any serious splashes to the eye.
It is critical for workers exposed to welding to wear protective shields to screen out the spectrum of radiation which damages the eye. Exposure to radiation. from welding and similar processes causes flash burns, which are like a sunburn to the eye. The worker will develop extreme pain in the eyes several hours after exposure.
Ultraviolet radiation increases the risk of developing cataracts. Individuals who work outdoors or drive during daylight hours should wear sunglasses or prescription lenses which protect the eye from ultraviolet rays. Some lasers can also cause raise the risk of cataracts if the light source is not properly shielded.
Key Points to Remember
1. Be aware of eye hazards in your workplace.
2. Use correct protective gear to protect your eyes. Eye injuries should be treated promptly by a qualified professional.
3. Untreated or improperly treated eye injuries can result in permanent vision loss
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