A safe point of view: protecting your eyes

Jun 11, 2018

Seeing eye to eye with safety

 When you think of protective eyewear, you probably think of a professional using heavy machinery at work. And you’re right – these workers should absolutely be wearing protective eyewear in these situations. It could mean the difference between blindness and having sight.

But did you know a large number of eye-related injuries can also occur at home? Most people don’t think eye protection is necessary at home – or even think about it – but with our DIY culture in New Zealand growing bigger and bigger, protective eyewear needs to be worn.

If you use a lawn mower, leaf-blower, drill or similar power tools, you need protective eyewear.

Protective eyewear decreases the likelihood of small airborne particles getting into your eyes — which can affect your vision temporarily or permanently.

Factor in that eye health and vision experts say proper protective eyewear could prevent up to 90% of all eye injuries and it becomes fairly obvious that eye safety should be a top priority at home. 

Fortunately, Greenlane Penrose Optometrist carries a great range of safety eyewear that can be fitted with prescription lenses that comply with NZ safety standards. We’re here to help protect your eyes.

Why should I use eye protection?

Eye protection remains the last line of defence in eye injury prevention; when hazards cannot be eliminated, we rely on eye protection. Eye injuries can still occur if eye protection does not fit well, is uncomfortable, obscures vision, or is not suited to the hazard involved.

You must wear protective eyewear whenever there is a chance of eye injury. Anyone working in or passing through areas that pose eye hazards should wear protective eyewear. This is particularly true of workers involved in heavy machinery, which poses a high risk of on-the-job eye injury.

At home — or during recreational times — there is always a chance of eye-related injuries during certain activities as debris can fly into your eyes. These activities include:

  • Chainsaw use
  • Drill press work
  • Fencing
  • Horse harness racing
  • Quad biking
  • Picking fruit
  • Hedge trimming
  • Lawn mowing
  • Paint scrapping
  • Water blasting 

How to prevent eye injury

Despite advances in prevention, eye injuries still occur and are a significant burden internationally.

A number of factors, however, have reduced the type and rate of eye injuries. These have included: stricter occupational health and safety legislation, raising awareness of hazards, the introduction of standards for and broader use of eye protection

Education about hazards plays a key role in eye injury prevention. Along with wearing the appropriate eyewear — you should not wear sunglasses and regular spectacles as a replacement for eye protection.

Please consider these factors that could potentially lead to eye injury:

  • Tool malfunction
  • An employee performing an unfamiliar task
  • An employee being rushed
  • An employee working overtime and feeling fatigued

Interested in protective eyewear? Need advice on what kind would suit your situation? Email Jenny at jenny@gp-optom.co.nz and we can book an appointment to find the best option for you.

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