Did you know that eye-related problems in the workplace are more common than you might think? From the glare of computer screens in offices to the dust and debris on construction sites, our eyes face numerous challenges at work. Eye problems can lead to decreased productivity, higher rates of absenteeism and even work-related accidents. In this blog, we’ll explore the effects of poor workplace eye health and discuss actionable tips and solutions that employers can implement to create a safer workplace.
Common eye problems
With the proliferation of technology, more jobs now involve staring at screens for extended periods. Prolonged computer use is characterised by symptoms like eye strain, headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision. In certain industries like manufacturing, life-sciences and healthcare, workers may be exposed to chemicals that can cause eye irritation or serious damage if not handled properly. In healthcare settings in particular, there’s also a risk of spreading eye infections. Jobs that involve machinery, tools or flying debris pose a risk of eye injuries and in sectors like construction and manufacturing, dust, allergen and pollutants are a concern. In all industries, insufficient lighting or glare can strain the eyes, leading to discomfort and decreased productivity.
Benefits of addressing eye health
Prioritising eye health in the workplace not only benefits employees but also the organisation as a whole. By taking measures to prevent eye strain and other visual discomforts, employers can improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and decrease the number of work-related accidents. Additionally, healthy employees are more engaged and motivated, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and lower employee turnover rates. A few benefits to consider are:
- Employees with healthy eyes are more productive and engaged in their work.
- Fewer eye-related health issues mean fewer sick days and absenteeism.
- Less workplace eye injuries result in reduced workers’ compensation claims and associated costs.
- A commitment to occupational health and safety, including eye health, enhances your company’s reputation as an employer of choice.
- Compliance with safety regulations and standards helps you avoid penalties and legal issues.
Creating an eye friendly work environment
Maintaining an eye-friendly work environment goes beyond individual actions, there are many steps that employers can take to create a safer work environment:
Ergonomics: properly set up workstations with ergonomic furniture and monitor positioning to reduce eye strain and maintain good posture.
Regular screen breaks: encourage employees to take regular breaks from screens to reduce eye strain. The 20-20-20 rule is beneficial: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
Eye protection: provide appropriate eye protection equipment, such as safety glasses or goggles, for workers in high-risk environments.
Proper lighting: ensure workplaces are well-lit with adjustable lighting to reduce glare and eyestrain.
Eye hygiene: encourage good eye hygiene, including handwashing and avoiding touching the eyes, to reduce the risk of infections.
Regular eye exams: promote regular eye check-ups to detect and address vision problems early. Vision screenings can help identify individuals who may need prescription eyewear.
Educational programs: conduct awareness programs and training sessions on eye safety and maintaining eye health.
Our eyes are remarkable and invaluable assets that enable us to navigate and appreciate the world around us. Caring for our eye health is not just a matter of physical well-being; it’s also a vital aspect of our overall quality of life. From understanding the common eye hazards to implementing preventive measures, we’ve explored practical ways to safeguard your eyes. The well-being of your employees is one of the cornerstones of a successful and responsible business. By prioritising occupational eye health, employers can reduce the risk of injuries, enhance employee productivity, and foster a culture of safety. Let’s act now to create safer and happier workplaces.