An Overview of Eye Safety - Tips For Staying Safe
Accidents happen, it’s a fact of life, but approximately 90% of accidents which result in an eye injury could be avoided by taking a few simple precautions. Check how well you measure up with these helpful tips.
Safety Tips for Home and Work
- Always wear safety glasses when using any equipment which could cause particles to fly into the air. Drilling, sanding, sawing and using a leaf blower or lawn mower, for example, all throw up small particles at high speed. Protective glasses should be a wrap-around style with a snug fit. If you wear ordinary eye glasses, use goggles to protect both your glasses and your eyes, or order customized prescription safety goggles with polycarbonate lenses from your optician.
- Eye protection should always be worn when operating or close to welding gear. As well as having a blinding light, the radiation produced during welding can be very harmful to eyesight.
- All employers must comply with Occupational Health and Safety standards. You can check out what equipment should be provided and worn by law in certain occupations by reading the official government website: http://www.osha.gov/
- Bungee cords are a common household hazard. These elasticated cords with hook ends can be dangerous to eyes, so eye protection should be worn when using them.
- Check toys for sharp edges and get rid of any which may be damaged and dangerous. Small children frequently fall, so keep hazards to a minimum.
- Store household chemicals in a locked cupboard, out of the reach of children. Wear goggles when using them, as splashes can burn the eye’s delicate tissue. Keep nozzles pointed away at all times.
- Laser pointers are often used in presentations to focus on the board, but looking directly at the red beam can cause permanent damage to the retina. Do not point these lasers at someone else or look into them. Keep all laser pointers away from children; they are definitely not toys.
- Fireworks should always be handled by a responsible adult or a trained professional. Even sparklers are hot enough to melt metal!
- Champagne corks should be a time for celebration not a trip to the hospital. Fully chilled champagne lowers the force of the cork as it is removed. Always point the bottle away from others and keep your hand over the cork, rather than pushing it upwards. It will still make a good pop!
Car Safety Tips
- Airbags in cars are proven to save lives, but they can cause eye injuries and corneal abrasions when they go off, especially if you are not properly restrained. Wear you seatbelt even for the shortest journeys – it should be a habit. Support your head with a properly positioned headrest and sit at least 10 inches away from the steering wheel. Keep children in the back seat of the car and avoid smoking while driving, another potential hazard.
Sports Safety Tips
- Wear protective eye and head gear when playing sports. Something as large as a tennis ball can cause permanent damage if it hits the eye at speed. Even in sports that seem to have little contact, like basketball, you could get poked in the eye by another player's finger or elbow.
- Paintball guns have been known to cause devastating eye injuries as they propel paintballs at speeds of over 180mph. Always keep your head shield on when in the playing area; it will protect both eyes and ears from injury. Paintballs can cause detached retinas, cataracts, bleeding in the eye, glaucoma, eye socket fractures and worse so don’t take the risk, not even for a second. Historically almost all eye injuries from paintballs required eye surgery and were sustained when headgear was removed for a short time.
Our vision is so precious and is one of the keys to a good quality of life. Losing an eye, or causing someone else to do so, is incredibly traumatic, both emotionally and physically, so do the sensible thing and take every precaution. If the worst happens, wash any chemicals out of the eye then call for emergency assistance or go straight to a hospital emergency room (make sure someone else does the driving). Don't let yourself be one of the 850,000 Americans who suffer eye injuries which lead to vision damage every year. And be sure to set a good example for your children too, if you have any.
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