October is National Eye Injury Prevention and Home Eye Safety Month – an important time to think about eye protection and vision health during crafts, DIY projects, and home repairs. In support, The Vision Council, representing the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry around the world, provides 8 tips for better eye safety while working around the house.
According to the Council, over one million eye injuries (more than half reported every year) occur around the home. Yet 90 percent of those injuries are easily preventable with proper eye protection. The most common location for injury is said to be (believe it or not) the yard/garden, while one-fourth of all injuries are related to home repair or use of power tools. Accidents are commonly attributed to flying projectiles or to chemical splashes.
Some home project areas where the Council recommends eye protection: Painting, Sanding, Drilling or when Hammering nails. On the outside of the home, they suggest eye protection when Mowing and/or for Trimming. Cleaning too with strong chemicals can be dangerous, and you should be conscious too when working on or around your vehicle. Securing loads with bungee cords for example is a common activity during which injuries can occur.
In general, the Council also recommends eye protection during any project which leads to looking up, like with cleaning your gutters this Fall.
8 Tips for Preventing Eye Injuries around the Home
1. Keep a pair or two of protective glasses around the house in places that will remind you to wear them. Protective eyewear can be purchased in eye care providers’ offices or at hardware stores and building centers.
2. Remind family members to put on safety glasses when starting a project. Always model this behavior when working around children.
3. Read the labels on solvents, chemicals and cleaners carefully. Never mix products.
4. Maintain tools and equipment in good working condition.
5. Check the lawn for debris that could potentially become projectiles before starting yard work.
6. Make sure protective eyewear is lightweight, comfortable to wear and won’t impede your work. Prescription safety glasses may be an option for frequent use.
7. Look for protective eyewear that meets the safety eyewear standard of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These will have “Z-87” stamped on the frames.
8. Ensure that safety glasses have polycarbonate lenses, a strong shatterproof plastic. 3mm thick.
That’s it. Now go home improve something already. ~jb