Guard your Gaze: March is “Workplace Eye Wellness Month”

DF SafetyWorkplace Safety

There is no doubt that our eyesight is incredibly important. Eye injuries can vary in severity, but can often lead to loss in wages, permanent damage, and, in some cases, result in blindness. This is why protecting your eyes is key to keeping your eyesight safe.  

Prevent Blindness has declared the month of March as “Workplace Eye Wellness Month” with the goal of encouraging employees and employers to make eye safety and eye protection a priority in the workplace.  

“There were 18,510 eye-related injury or illness cases that resulted in at least one day away from work in 2020.”

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics 

So, today, let’s look at some ways you can keep your eyes healthy and protected! 

Prioritize eye health 

When was the last time you had an eye exam? Optometrists recommend adults, aged 20-64, should have an eye exam every two years. It is easy to put things on the back burner, but just as our physical health is important, so is our eye health. Eating a well-balanced diet, full of fruits and vegetables is a good place to start. Consider adding more fish to your meals as well, as the Omega-3 Fatty Acids in certain types of fish is also known to help with maintaining eye health.   

If you notice changes in your eyesight, be sure to consult an optometrist as soon as possible. Blurry vison, headaches, or noticing a difference in your prescription eye/safety glasses are all issues where seeking professional help is your best line of defense. 

Invest in proper eye protection  

No matter the season, you should always protect your eyes with sunglasses that block out harmful UVA and UVB rays to help maintain your eyesight.   

When working at home, inside or out, you should always wear proper protection for your eyes. Harmful debris or unknown objects can come seemingly out of nowhere, and you don’t want your eyes to suffer the consequences. Ensure your eyewear is appropriate for the job, and that they fit well. 

It is essential to invest in safety glasses that are fitted to your needs and satisfaction to ensure you wear them consistently. Check that the safety glasses are high quality, which can prevent fogging and headaches. Ensure your safety eyewear is the correct size and not uncomfortable to wear. 

When it comes to job sites, all protective eyewear in Canada must have the CSA mark on it to show that it meets Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements. As outlined by the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, “CSA-certified eye and face protectors must meet the criteria for impact resistance as outlined in the standard. Only devices made of approved materials are permitted.” Also, “the manufacturer or supplier certification mark must be present on all approved safety lenses, frames (front and temple), removable side shields, and other parts of the glasses, goggles, or helmets.” Ensuring you have the proper protection is key to protect employees as well as employers.  

Rest your eyes 

Now more than ever, we spend a significant amount of time in front of screens. From our tablets to our desktop computers, it seems like a lit object is always in front of us! Do your eyes a favour and take a break.   

Try the 20-20-20 rule: every twenty minutes, look approximately twenty feet away for twenty seconds. Take breaks throughout the day to not only stretch your legs, but to give your eyes a break as well. Try to turn off all devices about an hour or two before bed and allow your mind and body to relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep.  

Our eyes work hard for us each day, so be sure to show them the care they deserve! We only get two, so make sure you do all that you can to keep them in tip top shape.