Forty Percent of Job-Related Eye Injuries Occur in Growing Fields of Manufacturing,...

Forty Percent of Job-Related Eye Injuries Occur in Growing Fields of Manufacturing, Construction and Mining

During March Workplace Eye Wellness Month, ophthalmologists stress importance of wearing proper eye protection on the job


FRANCISCO, Feb. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Each year, 300,000
Americans visit the emergency room to treat a workplace eye injury.[1] A
significant portion of eye injuries occur in manufacturing, construction and
mining, industries which are experiencing recent job growth. During Workplace
Eye Wellness Month in March, the

American Academy
of Ophthalmology

is reminding employers and workers in these fields about the importance of
wearing eye protection.


Photo –

Logo –


According to the February jobs report, the U.S. added 48,000 jobs in
construction, 21,000 jobs in manufacturing and 7,000 in mining in January. About
40 percent of eye injuries in the workplace happen in these three industries,
according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[2]  In total, all workplace
eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical
treatment and worker compensation.[3]  Injuries range from simple strain to
severe trauma, which can cause permanent damage and blindness, but 90 percent of
workplace eye injuries are preventable with the appropriate eye protection.


Academy’s public education website EyeSmart® provides the following


avoiding eye injuries at work:


  • Wear

    protective eyewear

    whenever there is a chance of eye injury such as anywhere there may be
    flying debris, falling objects, chemicals and intense light and heat. This
    is particularly true of workers involved in welding. Among welders, their
    assistants, and nearby workers, UV radiation burns (welder’s flash)
    routinely damage workers’ eyes and surrounding tissue.

  • Make sure your eye protection is American National Standards Institute
    (ANSI)-approved, OSHA compliant, and is appropriate for the hazards in your
    workplace. If you are working in an area that has particles, flying objects
    or dust, you must at least wear safety glasses with side protection (side
    shields). If you are working with chemicals, you should wear goggles. If you
    are working near hazardous radiation (welding, lasers or fiber optics) you
    must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shields or helmets
    designed for that task.


case of an eye injury, follow the EyeSmart®

Care and
Treatment Recommendations for Eye Injury

to learn the dos and don’ts of eye injury first aid:


  • If your eye has been cut or punctured:

    • DO NOT: Remove the object stuck in eye, rinse with water, rub or apply
      pressure to eye. Avoid giving aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal,
      anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs thin the blood and may increase

    • DO: Gently place a shield over the eye. The bottom of a paper cup taped
      to the bones surrounding the eye can serve as a shield until you get
      medical attention. After you have finished protecting the eye, see a
      physician immediately.

  • In case of a chemical burn to the eye: immediately flush the eye with plenty
    of clean water, and seek emergency medical treatment right away.

  • To treat a blow to the eye: DO NOT apply any pressure. DO gently apply a
    small cold compress to reduce pain and swelling. If a black eye, pain or
    visual disturbance occurs even after a light blow, immediately contact an
    ophthalmologist—a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, medical and
    surgical treatment of eye diseases and condition—or emergency room. Remember
    that even a light blow can cause a significant eye injury.

  • To treat sand or small debris in the eye: DO NOT rub the eye. DO use eyewash
    to flush the eye out. If the debris doesn’t come out, lightly bandage the
    eye and see an ophthalmologist or visit the nearest emergency room.


Ben Franklin once said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,'” said
ophthalmologist Anne Sumers, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the Academy. “It
takes very little effort to protect yourself from on-the-job hazards that can
cause blinding eye injuries. We strongly advise workers and their employers not
to let their guard down when it comes to wearing proper eye protection.”


more eye injury first aid tips and information about workplace eye safety, visit


About the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The American Academy of Ophthalmology, headquartered in San Francisco, is the
world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons — 
with more than 32,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the
three “O’s” –
optometrists, and opticians
. It is the
ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who has the education and training to treat it
all: eye diseases, infections and injuries, and perform eye surgery. For more
information, visit

The Academy’s EyeSmart® program educates the public about the importance of eye
health and empowers them to preserve healthy vision. EyeSmart provides the most
trusted and medically accurate information about eye diseases, conditions and
injuries. OjosSanos™ is the Spanish-language version of the program. Visit
 or to
learn more.








American Academy of Ophthalmology

Forty Percent of Job-Related Eye Injuries Occur in Growing Fields of Manufacturing, Construction and Mining