Prevent Blindness has named March the National Workplace Eye Wellness Month
Prevent Blindness has been working to prevent blindness and promote vision care since their inception in 1908. They are the nation’s leading eye health organization and are powered by an almost all volunteer work force. Some of the pioneering achievements of Prevent Blindness have included creating the first ever preschool vision screening program run by volunteers. It was followed by the first glaucoma detection program in the United States. In addition to direct impact programs like the ones listed Prevent Blindness spearheaded legislation that almost completely eliminated ophthalmia neonatorum (also known as Neonatal conjunctivitis), a leading causes of blindness in infants.
In their ongoing effort to promote eye health Prevent Blindness is raising awareness of the dangers that many professions pose to eye health. This includes jobs where employees are exposed to dangerous liquids and gasses, jobs where workers are exposed to flying debris or airborne particles, and workplaces where employees are interacting with computer screens for extended amount of times.
The month-long effort is doing two things, first raising awareness among employers and employees alike, and then bringing to the forefront the need to take action and present options for what those actions are to protect workers eyes.
Industrial and Construction Protection Eyewear
For more industrial or construction type workplaces the organization recommends you start by assessing the inherent dangers of the work place and the history of eye accident and injury reports to gain what can be learned to identify areas and operations that present hazards to the eyes.
The next step is to implement a plan and offer the proper protective eyewear that is designed for the specific tasks and correlated hazards they impose. Visit the Prevent Blindness web site for the Occupational Safety and Health Act standards on protective eyewear.
Once you have the risks assessed and the plan in place you need to create a 100% participation for your program of eye protection in your plant or work site. The program can only prevent injuries when implemented by everyone at all times. Things you can do to increase voluntary participation are education of the danger and also by providing quality and comfortable products that fit well and allow for clear vision. For education it is recommended to add eye safety to new employee orientations and ongoing training programs.
Lastly plan for an emergency by including first aid procedures for eye injuries and having eye wash stations in critical areas that are easy to access.
Office and Computer User Eye Protection
Of workers who are exposed to computer screens day in and day out as part of their job approximately 60 percent experience symptoms of digital eye strain with symptoms that range from headaches to irritated eyes and blurred vision.
To minimize eye strain there are some simple tips they recommend. First screens should be 20 to 26 inches from your eyes and slightly below eye level. Using blue light blocking reading glasses, also known as computer glasses to can ease eye strain. According to Prevent Blindness computer glasses with the yellow tinted lenses work well to block the specific wavelengths that cause damage. Anti-reflective lenses reduce glare and increase contrast which can also ease strain on the eye. Other things they suggest are have a document holder that can be placed next to your screen so you are not constantly changing your focus and moving your head back and forth. A chair you can adjust can also allow for more comfort and proper interaction with your screen.
According to the Prevent Blindness website, extended artificial blue light exposure can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration and damaged retinal cells.
At Visualites we care about our customers and their eye health, that is why all of our reading glasses, including the popular Visualites 8 have an anti-reflective coating. We have also just this year made available to our customers the new Visualites Computer Reading Glasses, these have the specific yellow coating that Prevent Blindness recommends to help protect your eyes from damage and easy digital eye strain.
Jerry Willis is the owner of Lumen Eyewear and the computer glasses and reading glasses brand Visualites. Jerry has years of experience in eyewear frame and lens design and manufacturing of eyewear and is a member of the Vision Council of the United States of America. Lumen Eyewear is also a FDA licensed manufacturer and importer of reading glasses and computer glasses. Visualites is dedicated to bringing its customers products that not only improve their vision but the health of their eyes.