Keep an eye on safety

April 1, 2011

More than 2,000 individuals suffer eye injuries on the job every day, according to the Chicago-based Prevent Blindness America. The organization offers the following advice on treating some of the more common workplace eye injuries:

Chemical burns

  • Flush the eye for at least 15 minutes. If you do not have immediate access to an eyewash station, the eye should be held open and flushed with the first available “drinkable” fluid, whether that is water, milk, juice or pop.
  • After flushing the eye, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Do not bandage the eye, as this will cause emergency medical personnel to waste time removing bandages.
  • People who wear contact lenses should not attempt to remove them. Begin flushing the eye, allowing the liquid to dislodge the lens gently.

Cuts and punctures to the eye or eyelid

  • Cover the eye lightly to protect it from dirt particles and see a doctor right away.
  • Do not flush the eye with any liquid. Flushing may remove fluids that maintain the eye’s structure and function.
  • Do not try to remove an object stuck in the eye, as this could cause even worse damage.

Specks in the eye

  • Lift the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower eyelid.
  • Let your tears wash out the speck or particle. If the speck does not wash out, keep the eye closed, bandage it lightly and see a doctor as soon as possible.