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Better safe than sorry should be the motto of every workplace when it comes to the possibility of injuries, and eye injuries are no exception. March is designated as Workplace Eye Wellness Month, and your eyesight can be at risk in numerous ways.

The National Safety Council states, “all it takes is a tiny sliver of metal, particle of dust, or a splash of chemical to cause significant and permanent eye damage.” Almost 2000 people in the United States injure their eyes while working every day, and of these injuries, one third of them are severe enough to be treated at the hospital emergency room. This means almost one million Americans have experienced some vision loss due to eye injury, which has resulted in more than $300 million in lost work time, medical expenses, and worker’s compensation.

Many occupational eye injuries occur because employees are not wearing any eye protection while others result from wearing improper or poorly fitting eye protection. OSHA estimates 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented through the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the eyes. Some of the most common types of eye (and face) protection include safety spectacles, goggles, welding shields, laser safety goggles and face shields. Each type is designed to protect against specific hazards. For more specifics on PPE, check out OSHA’s publication on the subject -

Even though we normally think of work-related eye injuries happening from working with metal, wood, UV radiation burns or chemicals, there’s another culprit posing a threat to our vision – technology, specifically computers. Over exposure to computer screens may not permanently damage our vision, but it can make our eyes feel irritated and fatigued and may cause them to lose their ability to function properly. Computer vision syndrome is the most common eye problem, which is spending too much time in front of a computer screen without enough breaks. This can cause headaches, neck pain, back strain and dry eye. Studies have shown that when staring at a computer screen for extended periods, we do not blink as often, which prevents eyes from staying lubricated and moistened.

Here are some tips to keep your eyes feeling comfortable for those who spend many hours in front of a computer screen:
• Reposition your screen to keep any direct light source from causing a glare.
• Keep the computer roughly 30 inches away from your eyes.
• Remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
• Remember to blink frequently.

Let’s celebrate Workplace Eye Wellness Month by keeping these tips in mind and protecting those eyes!

A rating system helped predict which solutions construction workers would use to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). That’s according to a study ( by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri that was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). 

In the study, three analysts, including an occupational-medicine physician and two occupational therapists, rated the likelihood that construction workers would adopt 16 different solutions to tasks that could cause MSDs.

That was followed by the use of 2007 rating system to score the likelihood that the construction workers and their contracting companies in the previous study would adopt each solution. The rating system includes relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, ability to try the solution (or trial ability), and observability. The researchers then added a sixth category, usability, to the system.

According to the researchers, the findings show that the rating system could help predict the adoptability of simple solutions to prevent MSDs among construction workers.

Read entire article -

Clocks will spring forward on Sunday, March 11 as we begin Daylight Saving Time. Even though we welcome the bright mornings as a signal that winter is finally coming to an end, we do miss that lost hour of sleep and we might even have to deal with our body clock disruption.

Now you may think one hour of lost sleep isn’t much, but many of us deal with lack of sleep on a regular basis. The effects of fatigue are far-reaching and can have an adverse impact on all areas of our lives, including workplace safety.

March is Sleep Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to remind people that getting a good night’s sleep is a necessity. More than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived, and sleep deprivation and drowsiness on the job can be a major safety issue, especially in safety-critical positions that involve operating machinery, driving or other tasks that require alertness.

Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but 63 percent of Americans reported their sleep needs are not being met each week. According to Circadian (link to website -, a global leader in providing 24/7 workforce performance and safety solutions for businesses that operate around the clock, sleep deprivation is frequently the root cause of decreased productivity, accidents, incidents and mistakes which cost companies billions of dollars each year.

Sleep deprived individuals are poor communicators, have decreased vigilance and slower response time, become distracted easily, and are more prone to engage in risky decision making. Interesting point is if you have four or more nights of less than seven hours of sleep per night, it can be the equivalent to a total night of sleep deprivation and that can affect your functioning for up to two weeks.

And what about operating machinery or driving while sleepy? Drowsy driving is impaired driving, and the National Safety Council research showed:
• You are three times more likely to be in a car crash if fatigued
• Losing even two hours of sleep is similar to the effect of having three beers
• Being awake for more than 20 hours is the equivalent of being legally drunk (22 hours of sleep deprivation results in neurobehavioral performance impairment that are comparable to a 0.08 percent blood alcohol level)

The loss of sleep is not only detrimental to workplace safety, it is a major player in employees’ overall health. Chronic sleep-deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses. It is estimated fatigue costs U.S. employers more than $136 billion a year in health-related lost productivity.

So, time to get some shut eye in the name of workplace safety and health!

Changing behavior could help many more Americans avoid cancer. That’s according to a new American Cancer Society (ACS) study that calculates the contribution of several modifiable risk factors to cancer occurrence. The study finds that more that more than 40 percent of cancer cases and deaths in the U.S. are associated with these major modifiable risk factors, many of which can be mitigated with prevention strategies.

Read entire article -

Tagged in: cancer

Although it might not always feel like it (particularly in the depths of mid-winter), February is the shortest month.

For many kinds of workplaces, it’s also time to post workplace injury summaries from the previous calendar year.

The U.S. Department of Labor requires companies to post Form 300A from Feb. 1 through April 30 each year. The form shows a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred over the previous year. The form also shows the annual average number of employees and total hours worked during the calendar year.

The form must be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are normally posted.

Required on the summary is the total number of work-related injuries and illnesses that occurred last year and that were recorded on OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.

What if an organization had no recordable injuries last year, you ask? That’s always good news, but it must still be reported, simply by placing zeroes on the total lines.

Exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness posting requirements are companies with 10 or fewer employees and employers in certain industries in the retail, services, finance, insurance and real estate sectors. For more on this, visit

How can you recognize whether an injury or illness is considered work-related by OSHA? If an event or exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to the condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition, it’s work-related. A work environment includes the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment.

For more information on posting requirements, contact the recordkeeping coordinator at your OSHA Regional office (refer to If your workplace is in a state with its own occupational safety agency, reach out to the state plan office (visit for a directory).


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