Whether your job involves physical labor or many hours of sitting in front of a computer, eye damage is a very real concern. If you don’t take proper precautions, you could end up with either one eye that has become permanently injured from a foreign body, or two eyes that are strained and may lead to discomfort or vision damage.
At CM Regent, it’s our job to protect you and your employees. That’s why we’ve put together the following best practices to protect your employees’ eyes—no matter what role they serve in your school entity.
- Take frequent breaks during the workday. If an employee’s job requires hours of screen time, they should take a five-minute break every hour. This short amount of time away from the computer or other device can help with visual and mental fatigue.
- Avoid glare at workstations. Monitors should not face a window or other light source. The glare can cause eye strain—whether the sun is out or not.
- Invest in safety glasses and goggles that are comfortable. Whenever an employee is working on anything that involves flying debris or possible chemical splatter, safety glasses or goggles are a must. Eye protection should meet ANSI Z87.1 and be appropriately marked on the frame and lenses. Find glasses that are adjustable to the individual and take time to train employees on the proper way to use them. You may assume your employees can figure out how to use the glasses themselves, but some pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) are more complicated than they look.
- Encourage employees to undergo regular eye checks. It’s easy to skip an annual eye exam or two—especially if the person doesn’t think they need an updated prescription or additional contact lenses. But regular eye exams are important for overall eye health, and they can help identify whether a person’s eyewear is still working well.
- Provide proper lighting for your employees. All overhead lighting for workstations should have an installed light diffuser. This can help reduce glare and an overabundance of light that can be strenuous on the eyes.
- Avoid rubbing eyes. Instruct your employees to refrain from rubbing their eyes if they become itchy, because this can cause eyes to become scratched or contaminated with a foreign body. Instead, they can splash their face with clean, cold water to wash out the irritated area.
Some people who work at computers use the 20-20-20 method of providing relief for their eyes: After 20 minutes of screen use, they focus on an item approximately 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This allows their eyes to readjust and get some relief. Make sure your employees have all the information they need to keep their eyes healthy.
For more ways to keep you and your employees safe visit our employee safety risk resources.