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Safety Tips | Eye protection

Emergency eye care

November 25, 2013

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Thousands of employees are blinded every year from work-related eye injuries, OSHA states. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of emergency eye care can help workers avoid becoming a statistic.

A medical professional should be consulted after an eye injury. In addition, the Vision Council – an Alexandria, VA-based organization representing manufacturers and suppliers of vision care products and services – recommends following these steps immediately after an eye injury occurs:

  • Protect the eye from further damage by holding a folded cloth over it, having it act as a shield.
  • Bandage any cuts around the eye to prevent contamination or infection.
  • Flush the eye with an emergency eyewash in the case of a chemical burn or if small debris is in the eye.
  • Use a cold compress to treat a blunt-trauma injury such as a black eye, but do not apply additional pressure.

To avoid further injury:

  • Do not remove any objects stuck in the eye; this could worsen the injury.
  • Do not wash out the eye when dealing with cut or puncture injuries.
  • Do not attempt to self-medicate, apply ointments or take any medications, including over-the-counter drugs.
  • Do not rub the eye or apply pressure, as this may cause more damage.