smiling male worker in construction helmet in studio

Workplace Eye Injuries: Causes and Prevention

What are the causes of eye injuries in workers?

  • Scratching: Most eye injuries are caused by small particles or objects hitting or scratching the eyes, such as dust, cement chips and metal slivers. These materials can be ejected from tools, blowing, or falling from above workers. Sometimes, large objects can also hit the eyes or face. A worker might run into an object that causes blunt-force trauma to their eyeballs or eye sockets.
  • Penetration Any object, such as nails, staples or slivers from wood or metal, that can penetrate the eyeball, could cause permanent vision loss.
  • Chemical burns and thermal burns. Chemical burns to the eyes can be caused by industrial chemicals or cleaning products. Welders are often subject to thermal burns. These burns can cause permanent damage to the eyes and surrounding tissues.
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How can you prevent eye injuries?

Protective eyewear such as safety glasses, goggles, and face shields can be worn.

The type and severity of the hazard, conditions of exposure and individual vision requirements will all influence the choice of eye protection. The eye protection should be tailored to the individual, or adjusted to provide adequate coverage. It should be comfortable, and provide sufficient peripheral vision.