You only get one pair of eyes so you need to look after them, which is why you have to take all available precautions if you are doing any sort of work that could cause damage to your vision.

Here is an overview of the potential eye hazards you might face in the workplace, including a list of the likely dangers. Plus a reminder of the personal cost of damage to your vision, and some tips on reducing the danger.

Plenty of dangers

You can see why many workplace environments suggest or insist on employees wearing safety goggles, supplied by someone like RS Components.

There are many potential dangers that could cause serious or permanent damage to your eyes and might even result in loss of vision.

Some of the hazards, that you need to try and shield your eyes from, include all manner of projectiles like metal, wood and other particles, plus chemical splashes and even the threat of bloodborne pathogens like HIV or hepatitis if you come into contact with blood or body fluids without protection.

Different solutions

The sort of hazards you are likely to face in your particular type of workplace will obviously be a major factor in deciding which form of eye protection you should choose to wear.

If you are working within an industrial environment where there is the prospect of particles, in the form of flying debris or dust in the air, you need to wear safety glasses that also offer your side shield protection.

If there are any chemical hazards in your workplace, it is suggested that you wear goggles for suitable protection for your eyes. Working anywhere hazardous radiation as a result of welding, or using lasers or fiber optics, will mean that you must wear safety glasses that are specifically designed to provide the level of protection you need from these identifiable threats.

A common problem

If for any reason you think that some of the protective workwear and safety glasses you are being asked to wear are a bit of an overkill, you will quickly form a different opinion when you see how many workplace eye injuries are reported each year.

Eye injuries cost millions every year in compensation as well as lost productivity. But most importantly, the personal toll can be severe when you suffer permanent damage to your vision.

It is estimated by government safety organisations that as many as 90% or serious eye injuries are preventable if the correct protective eyewear is being worn.

Protecting your eyes

There are several simple but essential strategies you can adopt to protect your eyes from danger in the workplace.

Your priority should be to always be aware of the potential risks and identify the dangers posed to your vision. Also, aim to eliminate these hazards as best you can, by using machine guards and screens where necessary, together with wearing suitable eye protection as an extra safeguard.

There is a comprehensive range of protective eyewear available so there should be a suitable option available to provide you with the protection you need while you are doing your work.

Matthew Goodwin works as an industrial safety officer. He shares his tips and thoughts online at relevant blogs focused on industrial and business topics.