Renowned Eye Surgeon Dr. Stewart Shofner Delivers the Top Five Potential Eye Hazards Found at Work

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During Workplace Eye Safety Awareness Month, Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center shares the top five potential eye hazards found at most workplaces and safety tips on eye injury prevention.

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center along with many industry professionals stress the importance of wearing proper eye protection on the job during March Workplace Eye Wellness Month. No matter the job, common factors can increase one’s risk for enduring an occupational eye injury. Those factors include: working overtime, using tools, fatigue, being rushed or being distracted.

NIOSH organization reports about 2,000 U.S. workers endure job-related eye injuries every day. Industry experts believe the proper eye protection could have reduced the severity or even prevented 90% of these eye injuries. Potential eye hazards are found in nearly every industry and Dr. Shofner shares top five common hazards found at most workplaces and how to prevent them.

1) Projectiles. Impact hazards or projectiles include flying objects such as chips, fragments, particles, sand and dirt. These hazards typically result from tasks like chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, sawing, drilling, chiseling, powered fastening, riveting and sanding. These objects (or sparks) are usually small but can cause serious eye damage such as punctures, abrasions and contusions.

“It’s imperative that workers must wear primary protective devices such as safety spectacles with side shields or goggles,” says Dr. Shofner. Additional devices like face shields are required in conjunction with primary protective devices during severe exposure to impact hazards.

2) Dust. In many workplace environments, dust can be very hard to avoid. Working in a dusty environment can cause discomfort, eye injuries and presents hazards especially to those that wear contact lens. A best practice rule of thumb is to discuss your work environment and any possible hazards with your eye care specialist.

3) Radiation. Heat injuries, including burns, can occur to the eye when workers are exposed to high temperatures, or hot sparks. Workplace operations that are especially vulnerable to these types of hazards involve pouring, casting, hot dipping, furnace operations and other similar activities. OSHA requires workers should be required to wear goggles or safety spectacles with special-purpose lenses and side shields.

4) Chemicals. Direct contact with chemicals is another leading cause of eye injuries. A lot of these injuries, which typically occur in the form of a splash, mists, vapors or fumes, result from an inappropriate choice of personal protection equipment (PPE), according to OSHA. With the wrong type of PPE in place, a chemical substance could enter the eye area from around or under the protective equipment.

5) Optical Radiation. Laser work and other similar operations that create high concentrations of heat, ultraviolet, infrared and reflected light radiation is also potential eye hazards. Unprotected laser exposure may result in retinal burns, cataracts and permanent blindness.

Laser pointers are sometimes used in corporate and classroom presentations to highlight specific points or images on media screens. Looking directly at the light beam of a laser pointer can cause temporary vision loss and even permanent damage to the retina.

Eye Injury Prevention
Appropriate eye protection should by OSHA compliant and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Protective goggles must be worn while working with chemicals and special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets designed should be worn while working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers or fiber optics). An optometrist can assist employers in evaluating potential eye hazards in the workplace and help determine appropriate eye protection.

About Shofner Vision Center
Dr. Stewart Shofner at Shofner Vision Center, Nashville, TN specializes in cataract vision correction and LASIK vision correction surgery, eye disease diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone who has sustained an eye injury should contact a local physician or vision center for immediate treatment.

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Shofner Vision Center's professional staff members pay close attention to details to ensure every patient is given the best customer care. Most insurance plans are accepted including Medicaid and Tri-Care and they also offer the most affordable Custom 3D LASIK in middle Tennessee and offer special LASIK prices for military, firefighters, law enforcement and their families.

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