Sixty per cent of all eye injuries happen at work

The eyes have it: Workers often sustain eye injuries when walking by or helping others perform tasks without wearing any, or the appropriate, eye protection such as safety glasses.
The eyes have it: Workers often sustain eye injuries when walking by or helping others perform tasks without wearing any, or the appropriate, eye protection such as safety glasses.

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Liam (not real name) was doing some DIY work at home, hammering in nails when one of them bent. He pulled at the nail to get it out and a piece flew into his eye.

He carefully found his way to the neighbours and asked them nervously where the nail piece was lodged. Fortunately it had just missed his eyeball and a visit to the optometrist was all that was required.

Most eye injuries in the home can be prevented by taking simple precautions such as wearing eye protection during home maintenance and DIY projects.

The most common causes of eye injuries are: impact, dust, chemicals, heat, ultraviolet radiation and visible radiation.

There are several protective eye pieces:

Safety glasses have tougher lenses and should have side protection. If you have a vision problem, you can use specially made glasses that have corrective lenses.

Safety goggles are larger and should fit more snugly.

Eye shields cover upper face and face shields cover the whole face.

Work injuries

Sixty per cent of all eye injuries happen at work making it imperative for employers and employees to reduce the risk of eye accidents.

Most eye injuries can be prevented by making sure you have appropriate prescription and non-prescription eye wear for the work you're doing.

Dangerous workplaces include the construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining industries and often occur during grinding and welding related tasks.

"Workers often sustain eye injuries when walking by or helping others perform tasks without wearing any, or the appropriate, eye protection," said the Optometrists Association services manager Shirley Loh. "It's important that eye safety procedures are in place and followed to prevent accidents."

Optometrists around Australia are conducting vision screenings with local businesses as part of Optometry Australia and HOYA Lens Australia's Workplace Eye Safety campaign.

Optometrists can offer eye health and vision screenings, professional consultation and individually tailored programs.

The process involves identifying and analysing visual hazards and determining ways to improve eye comfort in specific work settings.

Know the risks of AMD disease

More than 60 per cent of Australians are unaware of the strong familial risks associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) has found.

AMD - a painless, progressive eye disease that destroys central vision - is the most common macular disease in Australia.

To coincide with Macula Month, which ran throughout May, the MDFA commissioned two surveys, which found that among Australians diagnosed with AMD, only half were aware of the hereditary connection.

"Familial risk is crucial information and we'll be working closely with eye health professionals on ways to better communicate this to their patients. Early detection is vital to help slow progression of the disease," MDFA CEO Dee Hopkins said.

Contact MDFA for more information on 1800 111 709.