National Eye Health Week – Vital for Construction Workers

National Eye Health Week – Vital for Construction Workers

02nd October 2018

Because last week (24th – 30th September) was National Eye Health Week 2018, we’ve decided to focus once again on the importance of eye protection to raise awareness amongst our readers.  National Eye Health Week campaign aims to inspire and educate people on the importance of eye health and why regular eye tests are a vital aspect of maintaining vision.

The importance of eye sight towards our overall wellbeing, independence and quality of life is too important to be ignored and eye care organisations across the UK joined together to promote the need for regular eye tests.  One of the most famous people to get on board with highlighting the importance of eye health is Hairy Biker, Dave Myers who urged everybody to look after their eyes.

Television presenter, Myers was diagnosed with glaucoma during a regular eye test – a condition that would have had a huge impact on his career if it had not been detected in the early stage.  Dave was so worried at the thought that he could have lost his sight that it inspired him to use his fame and celebrity in a good cause – promoting eye health.

Around 2 million people here in the UK are living with severe sight loss which has a significant negative impact on their daily activities.  It’s particularly worrying to learn that half of these people’s sight loss could have been avoided if they had undergone regular eye tests.

A sight test easily detects the early signs of eye conditions like glaucoma, a condition that is more effectively treated during the early stage.  During a sight test other health conditions may be identified, conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure that should be treated as soon as they are identified.

For those of us working in the construction industry, it’s not just the eyesight conditions that we need to be concerned with, we also need to pay close attention to eye protection as so many of the activities on a construction site can result in eye damage if adequate protection is not used.  Because our eyes are made from soft tissues, they are particularly vulnerable to risk of physical elements, especially small particles and sharp objects.  Eye sensitivity to light is fundamental to sight, but also makes them vulnerable to bright light and heat.  Moreover, the fragile moisture and pH balance of the eyes mean that the common chemicals found in a variety of workplaces may cause serious harm.

Construction sites contain many of the dangers listed above, with sharp tools and materials being used and moved around.  Construction sites by their nature are particularly dusty environments with several forms of dangerous particulate matter.  The mandatory use of hard hats help to protect the eyes, but the best defence against workplace hazards make eye protection an essential element of defence.

Next week, we’ll take a more detailed look at the risks to eye health in the construction industry.  Make sure you don’t miss out by following us on Facebook or Twitter so that you have all the information necessary to make informed choices on eye protection.