CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness, the nation's leading eye health and safety nonprofit organization, has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month in an effort to help keep eyes healthy, safe and protected on the job. Whether a job is on at industrial or construction site, or in an office setting, protecting vision should always be a priority. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, every year thousands of workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that 90 percent of these eye injuries could be avoided by wearing the proper eye protection.

Prevent Blindness recommends eye protection that is appropriate for each job setting. Bystanders are also at risk with some injuries occurring by passing through a work area.

Common causes for workplace eye injuries are:

  • Flying objects (bits of metal, glass)
  • Tools
  • Particles
  • Chemicals
  • Harmful radiation
  • Any combination of these or other hazards
Employers are required by law to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additionally, eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards. All eye safety gear should meet the eye protection standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Workers who use digital devices such as computers, tablets and smart phones for their jobs are at risk for eyestrain, headaches, and eye fatigue. According to Cedars-Sinai, you may be at greater risk for digital eye strain if you:

  • Spend a few hours or more a day at a computer or on a digital device.

  • Are too close to your computer or digital device screen.

  • View your computer or digital device at the wrong angle.

  • Have bad posture while using your computer or digital device.

  • Have eye problems (even minor ones) not corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

  • Have a pair of glasses that is not suitable for viewing the distance of your computer.

  • Don’t take breaks while you are working.
To help employers educate workers on eye protection and safety, Prevent Blindness offers a Workplace Safety module as part of its free program, the Healthy Eyes Educational Series. The module includes a Presentation Guide and corresponding PowerPoint presentation. Prevent Blindness also offers a variety of workplace eye safety fact sheets and shareable social media graphics.

“Maintaining healthy vision is a critical part of maintaining overall good health for working adults,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We strongly urge everyone to talk to their eye doctor about the best ways to keep eyes healthy at their jobs today and for years to come.”

For more information about workplace eye health topics, including the effects of prolonged digital screen use, blue light and eye injuries, visit