March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Mar 29, 2022
Workplace eye wellness blog photo 

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20,000 people are taken off the job each year due to workplace eye injuries. Using proper eye protection while performing potentially hazardous tasks can help prevent eye trauma—and possibly save your sight!

Non-hazardous workplaces can also be tough on the eyes, as eight hours of computer use can cause eye dryness and irritation. No matter your occupation, eye wellness at work is something everyone should be mindful of.

Common Causes of Workplace Eye Injuries

Most workplace eye injuries occur in the construction, manufacturing and mining industries—but any job can pose some risk to your eyes. The most common causes of eye injury are:

  • Slipping or malfunctioning tools
  • Fine particles including sawdust, metal shavings, and crystalline silica
  • Chemicals splashing
  • Flying shards of glass or metal
  • Thermal burns
  • Light radiation

How to Protect Yourself from Workplace Eye Injuries

Eye injury at work is a big problem. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace eye injuries cost approximately $300 million a year in lost productivity, worker compensation, and medical treatment.

The best thing you can do to keep your eyes safe at work is to always wear appropriate protective eyewear. Specific jobs require certain types of eye protection, and your workplace should abide by all OSHA regulations for providing the type of eye and face protection you need.

Safety glasses should have side shields to protect you from flying particles and dust. Goggles will protect your eyes from chemical splashes. You’ll need specially designed glasses, face shields or helmets if you work with potentially harmful radiation, such as that from lasers and welding.

Keep your protective eye wear in good condition and replace it when it shows signs of wear.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Yes, there’s a name for the way your eyes feel after staring at a screen for too long: computer vision syndrome. Hallmarked by dry eyes, redness, and eye fatigue, it can even lead to headaches.

If you and your coworkers suffer from computer vision syndrome, introduce your manager to the 20-20-20 rule to markedly cut down on eye fatigue. For every 20 minutes in front of a screen, get up and look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Pay attention to your blinking. Under normal circumstances, we blink about 15 times a minute. But we only blink 10 to 5 times per minute when we’re on the computer. Make a conscious effort to blink while you’re at the computer. Moisturizing eye drops and blue light glasses may also help.


If your job is affecting your eye health and you’re in the Chattanooga area, call or text us at (423) 855-8522 to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. Our caring and professional eye experts will be happy to help you identify and treat the problem.