Today's News

ASSE, Vision Council stress prevention of workplace eye injuries

December 9, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

Every day, approximately 2,000 U.S. workers suffer a job-related eye injury, with one-third of them serious enough to require treatment in a hospital emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 100 of these injuries result in lost work time. Those troubling statistics have prompted the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and The Vision Council to release information on the importance of eye safety and health in the workplace.

In a recent press release, the ASSE says that eye injuries are most common in the manufacturing, construction and trade industries, with threats of projectiles and chemical exposures. Workers in the health care industry at hospitals, labs and health clinics are also at risk of contracting infectious diseases through the eye’s mucous membranes as a result of direct exposure. Ensuring that employees have the proper eye protection for the job they are performing is key to helping reduce the risk of injury in hazardous situations.

In a 2009 ASSE Professional Safety Journal article, titled, ‘Safety eyewear: How much coverage does it provide?” ASSE experts James R. Harris, Richard Whisler, Douglas E. Ammons, Jim Spahr and Larry L. Jackson note that not only is eye protection important, but ensuring that eye protection is the correct type for the job being performed and fits properly is critical to preventing all injuries. Eye protection should fit properly and be appropriate for the job at hand; otherwise there is still a risk of eye injuries.

According to the Vision Council, approximately 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable. The issue brief, published in conjunction with ASSE, offers valuable information about workplace eye injuries in a variety of work settings, and also provides tips and product recommendations designed for their prevention. Employers are required to take measures to ensure employee safety by complying with government regulations for eyewear and emergency eyewash stations. Employees should also be aware of ways to protect themselves by choosing the best eyewear for their jobs. Eye hazards and vision safety have been a top focus of ASSE members and the Vision Council, both dedicated to ensuring worker safety and health when it comes to protecting the eyes.

ASSE members often reach out to students and their communities to raise awareness about wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job. Tools like the ASSE ‘Safety Suitcase’ provide excellent information for students about how to stay safe on the job and even provide information about proper eye protection for work. The ‘Safety Suitcase’ program for elementary school students is an interactive presentation program, complete with a case full of PPE, including safety glasses, that students can put on and experience what workers wear on the job to keep their eyes safe from injury. For more information about the safety suitcase program or to order a suitcase for a classroom presentation, please visit

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.


Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon



Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/9/14 2:00 pm EDT

Welding: It doesn't have to be a grind. The latest in respiratory protection and PPE for welders and grinder

Attendees of this webinar will gain knowledge of hazards and appropriate PPE for welding applications, regulatory drivers that are changing the landscape of PPE within welding applications and the latest product technologies being offered in welding PPE.

ISHN Magazine


2014 August

Check out ISHN's August issue which features content about pain prevention, forklift operation safety and a preview of the National Safety Congress and Expo.

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - May 2014

ISHN0514FDO_cover.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEMAY 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.