|Healthy Vision Month Observed in May
Focus on Eye Safety at Work is Everyone’s Business
Each day, more than 2,000 U.S. workers receive medical treatment because of
work-related eye injuries, with more than 800,000 eye injuries occurring annually.
“To help promote eye health and safety at work, Healthy Vision Month 2006 will
focus on what employers and employees can do to reduce the number of job-related
eye injuries,” announced Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of vision research
at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Healthy Vision Month is an annual
observance coordinated by the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the NIH each May
to encourage Americans to make vision a health priority.
“Workplace injury is a leading cause of eye trauma, vision loss, disability,
and blindness. The resulting visual impairment can interfere with a person’s
ability to perform his or her job and carry out everyday activities,” Dr. Sieving
John Howard, M.D., director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH) said, “Simple improvements in workplace conditions and the
use of the proper safety eyewear can greatly reduce the number of eye injuries.
Identifying and removing or minimizing eye safety hazards is a critical part
of a good eye safety program. Ensuring that workers have the appropriate eye
protection for the job and that it is used are also key components.”
Many eye injuries occur because workers are not wearing the right eye protection,
it does not fit, or they are not wearing any protection at all. Flying fragments
of metal, wood, concrete and other building materials, along with windblown dust
and debris, splashes from chemicals and molten metal, hot sparks, optical radiation,
and even the everyday nail, are common workplace eye hazards.
“Eye safety should receive continuing attention in workplace education programs,” Dr.
Sieving noted. “Procedures for handling eye injuries should be established and
reinforced. Also, poor vision can affect work performance and safety. Workers
should have a comprehensive eye examination on a regular basis to help maintain
healthy vision, a first step in avoiding injuries on the job.”
NEI, NIOSH, and the National Safety Council are cosponsoring Healthy Vision
Month this year, and are working in collaboration with the American Association
of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. Other organizations and businesses are also
joining forces to make eye safety at work everyone’s business.
For additional information, photos, and other available materials, visit: www.healthyvision2010.nei.nih.gov/hvm.
The National Eye Institute (NEI) conducts and supports research that leads
to sight-saving treatments and plays a key role in reducing visual impairment.
The NEI is part of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, visit the NEI
Website at www.nei.nih.gov.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the
Federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations
for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health
and Human Services. For more information, visit the NIOSH Website at www.cdc.gov/niosh.
Founded in 1913 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1953, the National
Safety Council (NSC) is the country’s leading safety and health advocate and
service provider committed to preventing accidental injuries in the workplace,
on roads and highways, and in homes and communities. Council members include
more than 48,000 businesses, labor organizations, schools, public agencies,
private groups, and individuals. For more information, visit the NSC Website
Established in 1942, the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses,
Inc. (AAOHN) is a 10,000-member professional association dedicated to advancing
the health, safety, and productivity of domestic and global workforces by providing
education, research, public policy, and practice resources for occupational
and environmental health nurses. These professionals compose the largest group
of health care providers serving the worksite. For more information, visit
the AAOHN Website at www.aaohn.org.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research
Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal
agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical
research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common
and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.