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Employers must keep an eye on vision protection measures

Employers must take the appropriate measures to prevent serious work injuries and protect the overall safety of their employees. Failure to do so can lead to increased costs and diminished productivity.

Interestingly, one vital safety component that is often not given the proper degree of attention by either employers or employees is vision. In fact, this problem is not just confined to industrial settings.

"While most people think of construction or manufacturing as high-risk occupations where eye injuries are prevalent, even jobs requiring 'smart phones,' laptops and desktop computers can cause vision problems if not used properly," said Dr. Lisa Slaby, president of the Wisconsin Optometric Association.

According to researchers, at least 2,000 employees a day suffer some sort of job-related eye injury necessitating medical treatment. Furthermore, researchers estimate that up to 90 percent of these eye injuries could be avoided by adhering to basic safety measures.

What are some of these basic safety measures?

Medical experts indicate that employees who work primarily in office settings and who use computerized devices for at least five hours a day should be advised by employers to consider taking the following steps to prevent the onset of Computer Vision Syndrome, a condition that can lead to dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, loss of eye focus and fatigue.

  • Give their eyes periodic breaks by focusing on an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
  • Make sure their screen settings are correct, avoiding excessively dim or bright settings
  • Take steps to reduce glare and position screens just below eye level, making it easier to focus

As for industrial work, medical experts recommend a far simpler step for employers: make sure employees are wearing their eye protection.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 60 percent of eye injury cases, employees were not wearing their mandated eye protection.

In addition, it is recommended that employers remind employees to replace eyewear when it has become worn out or fails to fit properly.

Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal or medical advice.

Related Resources:

Optometrists urge people to protect their eyesight (Wisconsin Rapids Tribune)

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