Eye Safety

Preventing eye injuries at work or home

It’s not just workplace injuries that case eye injuries. In fact, more than two-thirds occur outside of a work setting. Here are some eye safety tips:

  • At work or doing jobs around the house, always wear protective eyewear designed for the task. Look for the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) mark on safety eyewear to ensure glasses meet or exceed safety standards.
  • Read and follow instructions when using chemicals.
  • Point spray nozzles away from you.
  • Turn your face away when uncorking sparkling wine bottles.
  • Use grease shields on frying pans.
  • Pick up rocks and stones before mowing the lawn.
  • Teach children how to safely handle knives, scissors, and pencils.

For more information on eye safety, visit the Canadian Association of Optometrists website.

Getting the right treatment fast can help prevent vision loss. If you injure your eye, seek medical help immediately. Call your ophthalmologist, optometrist, family physician, or go to a nearby hospital emergency room. 

If you injure your eye:

  • Specks in the eye: Never rub. Try lifting your upper lid down over your lower lid to brush the speck from the inside of the upper lid. Blink a few times to let the eye move the particle out. If the speck remains, keep the eye closed and get medical help.
  • Blows to the eye: Apply an ice compress immediately for about 15 minutes to reduce pain and prevent swelling. A black eye or blurred vision could signal internal eye damage. See a doctor immediately.
  • Cuts to the eye or eyelid: Bandage the eye lightly and seek immediate medical help. Don’t wash the eye, rub, or remove an object. Never apply pressure.
  • Chemical burns: Immediately flood the eye with water, using your fingers to keep the eye open as wide as possible. Hold your head under a faucet, looking up into the flow of water, or pour water into the eye from a clean container gently and continuously for at least 15 minutes. Roll your eyeball as much as possible. Do not use an eye cup and do not bandage the eye. Then, seek medical help.

© Copyright by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society