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Eye Safety Part 2: Essential Safety Habits

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, I talked about sports eye safety, since we were heading into baseball season. I mentioned that one of the key ways to keep your child’s eyes safe was to teach them good safety habits right from the start. I want to expand on those a bit more in this post, because they are key for adult eye safety as well. But first and foremost:

Have Protective Eyewear in your home.

power-toolsIt’s been said in a lot of places, including part 1: wear the appropriate protective eyewear for high-risk activities. It’s such a key factor that it bears repeating again. Now, workplace safety standards will likely require you to have protective gear in high-risk jobs like carpentry or factory work–but statistics say that even with standards in place, people must be ignoring them at least part of the time. Here are the most common causes of injuries in the workplace, and how to prevent them.

Even if you take precautions at work, do you do the same at home?  Overwhelming statistics say you need safety eyewear for home repairs, mowing lawns, and even some kinds of cleaning, not just jobs like construction or manufacturing. But even if you think that makes sense, there’s one more step you need to take: actually purchasing safety glasses and having them at home, ready for use should the need arise. (Yes, we do carry safety glasses in our optical! But you don’t have to get them from us. We just want to make sure you have them.)

Just recently, my husband and his dad did some DIY construction work around the house, meaning there was going to be plenty of sawdust and fragments, not to mention the risk of accidents with tools. Turns out we didn’t have safety glasses on hand…so they went ahead and did the work anyway. I suspect this is a common story, and I’m doing my part to prevent it by making sure we own at least two pairs before any family members begin phase two.

Checklist 1: BEFORE beginning high-risk DIY and other projects

  1. Do you have at least one pair of safety glasses on hand at home?
  2. If you fry food regularly, do you have safety features like a grease shield/splatter screen for frying pans? (Extra bonus: it helps keep your stove clean!)
  3. If you have children or elderly people living at home, do you have sharp corners padded and trip hazards tucked away? (Falls are a frequent cause of eye injury!)
  4. Are your home tools in good repair? Replace them before they become a hazard!

Checklist 2: Best safety practices during DIY projects and cleaning

  1. Are you wearing your protective eyewear?
  2. Have you read the labels on your cleaning chemicals? Don’t mix products!
  3. Have you read the safety manuals on your power tools?
  4. Are your spray nozzles pointed AWAY from you while you work? (This goes for champagne bottles too!)
  5. When mowing the lawn, is hazardous extra debris (like twigs, etc) cleared away beforehand?
  6. If you have children at home while you work, are they protected? If not, they should not be in the same room as your work.

The Takeaway:

These lists are by no means exhaustive, so use your common sense as well. Some of the items don’t seem to be common practices in many households (I don’t personally know anyone who uses a grease shield, for example); don’t let that deter you from making your own safety plan, especially where children and at-risk family members are involved.

And really, really do get yourself some safety glasses–there are so many activities that could benefit from higher levels of protection! You can find more information on the types of DIY jobs and household chores that require extra precautions here.

Contact Cascadia Eye

Alex BrandtIf you would like to learn more, or if you would like to schedule an appointment at Cascadia Eye, please contact us today. We are happy to answer any questions you might have!

In addition, join us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to ask your questions about eyes, exams, and our practice. We’d love to hear from you–and there might be a blog to address your questions in the future.


By Alex Brandt, Cascadia Eye’s official blogger.

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