Does your job require working with chemicals or machinery? Lots of dust in your work environment? If you’ve had laser eye surgery or are thinking about it, you should be mindful of protecting your eyes at work.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, about 2000 workers in the United States sustain eye-related injuries on the job every day. The most common occur when foreign materials – dirt particles, splinters, metal chips, etc. – strike or scratch the eyes.
If you’ve had laser eye surgery, you don’t want to jeopardize the results by injuring your eyes at work, so focus on this:
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Tips on How to Protect Your Eyes at Work
- Always use proper eye protection. If there’s a chance that chemicals, liquids or foreign objects can get into your eyes, wear protective safety glasses, a face shield or goggles. Devices used to protect your eyes at work may vary, depending on the job and location, so look into this before you start a new task.
- If you haven’t had laser eye surgery and need prescription eyeglasses, get goggles or safety glasses with prescription lenses – or wear the safety equipment over your glasses or contact lenses.
- Contact lenses DO NOT offer protection for your eyes at work – but you can wear contacts in addition to proper protective eyewear.
- On-the-job exposure to radiation, infra-red or ultraviolet light can be dangerous, but specially-designed helmets and safety glasses can protect your eyes.
- Health care workers and laboratory/janitorial personnel may face additional risk of exposure to germs and bacteria transmitted through the air or by touching your eyes with contaminated fingers. Safety equipment is essential to protect your eyes in these workplaces.
- Try to eliminate potential dangers before work even starts, by surveying your workspace forhazards and using machine guards or work screens if there’s a risk of debris.
Protecting Your Eyes at Work after Laser Eye Surgery
Of course, it’s always important to take precautions to protect your eyes, even before you consider having laser eye surgery. If you have any questions about protecting your eyes at work, talk to your optometrist/ophthalmologist about the best type of protective wear for your occupation.
After laser eye surgery, you’re still vulnerable to potential eye hazards, so continue to wear appropriate protective eyewear if your job has any exposure factors. Also, make sure that all eye protection devices are in proper good working condition – if they’re dirty or scratched, for example, this might cause glare, which in turn could lead to accidents.
One final thing: if, despite your efforts to protect your eyes at work, there’s an accident or injury, seek immediate medical attention.