Most of us head into work each day fairly confident that we’ll return home the same evening in one piece. Even if we work in particularly hazardous conditions, like on a construction site or in a machine shop, we grow accustomed to the level of hazards that surround us. We trust that protective measures are in place to keep us safe.
Although we would never want anyone to be afraid to go to work, we do want to make sure no one is getting too comfortable and slacking on safety standards. It’s easy to do. You’ve drawn a patient’s blood a million times; there’s no need to wear safety glasses, you think. Or, you’ve operated a table saw so much you could do it with your eyes closed.
These sentiments can quickly become the famous last words a person utters before finding themselves seated in the emergency room, wondering what went wrong. That’s why we nerds at Stoggles pride ourselves on being safety savvy.
Together, we’ll talk about some of the most common workplace hazards (especially those that affect your eyes) and what you can do to protect your workplace health.
1. Safety Hazards
According to OSHA, there are different types of workplace hazards. We’ll start off by covering the ones that lead to the most on-the-job injuries, which are safety risks.
These types of hazards include:
- Unguarded machinery. Think of drills, saws, milling equipment, and other frequently used shop tools that have safety guards. If those guards are lifted, there’s a safety hazard present.
- Spills on floors or tripping hazards. Cords and wires can create tripping hazards, and spilled fluids (even if it's just your coffee) in the work area are slips and falls waiting to happen.
- Confined spaces. The big problem with confined spaces is a lack of proper ventilation. Working in a small space with combustible materials can also be a job risk.
- Electrical hazards. Frayed cords, live wires, and anything with an electrical current that isn’t properly grounded can present a serious safety risk.
- Machinery-related hazards. Sure, you’re a forklift professional, but they present a safety risk if they aren’t operated properly.
Most employers have strict employee safety guidelines to keep their workers safe from these types of risks. These employees are smart enough to abide by them to avoid serious injuries, but it only takes one breach of the rules to produce an accident and make you rethink taking another backhoe selfie.
2. Physical Hazards
These types of hazards have the ability to harm the body without ever touching it. Examples include loud noise, temperature extremes, exposure to radiation, and exposure to direct sunlight and, thus, dangerous UV rays.
Work environments that carry physical hazards require the employee to protect themselves against these unsafe working conditions. This will usually mean wearing hearing protection, protective safety glasses, and/or other external protective equipment to keep the employee safe.
The problem here is that a lot of workers forgo their PPE (personal protective equipment) because it’s not comfortable. Sure, a job as a stagehand for a scream-o band sounds awesome, but 20 years from now, when you have continual tinnitus, you’ll wish you’d have worn those big, bulky ear muffs while you raged out.
3. Biological Hazards
You might not work in the healthcare industry, but biological hazards might still be a part of your job. Biological hazards are more than exposures to bodily fluids and blood; they also include hazards from working with plants and animals. Your summer job mowing lawns should’ve come with hazard pay.
Biological hazards can include:
- Exposure to human tissues and blood
- Animal droppings
- Insect bites
- Poisonous plants and pollen
- Fungus and mold
Professionals renovating old buildings can be exposed to dangerous mold, individuals who work in landscaping can be exposed to insects, animals, and plants that can present danger, and of course, healthcare workers can be exposed to other humans.
Any time you’re around these potential dangers, glove up, mask up, and pop on your safety eyewear. Risking your health and/or your vision because one of your patients gets rowdy or you get attacked by a particularly snarky chihuahua is not a fun story to tell at parties.
4. Chemical Hazards
Those among us working in labs are usually familiar with the danger that chemicals pose, but if you work with chemicals outside of a lab environment, the risk may seem less prominent. First off, chemical hazards are present in three forms: solids, liquids, and gases.
Second, you’re exposed to chemicals more frequently than you think. Ever think of the cleaning solvents you use when it’s your turn to clean the bathroom? (We’d consider those both a chemical hazard and biological hazard).
Pesticides are a problem (wear safety specs while gardening or around plant life). Then, there are vapors from cleaning products. Add in gasses (like carbon monoxide) from equipment, acids, paints, and flammable materials.
Put that all together, and we have a workplace safety situation that’s even worse than the “Sunday scaries.”
5. Ergonomic Hazards
This type of hazard has to do with how the body moves and adapts to the requirements of your job. Repetitive movements, for example, can lead to muscle and joint pain and/or injury. Uncomfortable workstations or poorly designed chairs can lead to poor posture.
Lifting heavy loads, using too much force, or being subjected to awkward body positions as a part of your workload demands can create injuries that have lasting health effects.
6. Work Organization Hazards
The last type of potential hazard you may be exposed to in your workplace are hazards that cause stress and strain mentally and emotionally. These can include heavy workloads or workloads that are too fast-paced or intense. Workplace violence and sexual harassment are also examples of these types of workplace hazards.
No matter what your job is or where you work, there are hazards facing you every day. A risk assessment is a helpful tool employers can use to uncover these hazards and ensure their employees receive proper safety training and equipment to stay safe on the job.
You may not be asked to wear personal protective equipment when working, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Consider your vision, for instance. Your retinal cells don’t regenerate, which means an injury to your eye could cost you your vision. Protecting your vision is as simple as donning a pair of incredibly comfy, ultra-protective Stoggles.
Eye Injury Risks
The risks to your eyes are real, even if you don’t “see” them. Eye injuries account for 37% of all head injuries on the job. In fact, there are more than 2,000 eye-related workplace injuries every day. Of those, at least one-third result in a trip to the emergency room.
Eye injuries can mean missed time from work, red tape with worker’s compensation claims, numerous trips to doctors and surgeons, and even complete vision loss. These injuries happen most frequently on construction sites, but coming in a close second are jobs like landscaping and healthcare jobs where exposure to fluids and chemicals is common.
What Causes an Eye Injury?
If you have a job sitting at a desk all day, it might not seem like an eye injury is possible. That doesn’t mean you still don’t need to protect your vision. We’ll cover the effects of blue light in one moment.
Most commonly, eye injuries are caused by:
- Strikes and scrapes. Debris from machines, lawn equipment, construction tools, or even objects carried in the wind can impact an uncovered eye and cause damage. This is called blunt-force trauma and can cost you your vision.
- Chemical or thermal burns. Exposure to cleaning chemicals or thermal radiation can cause a burn to an uncovered, unprotected eye.
- Penetration. When an object strikes the eye and penetrates, you could lose your vision.
These injuries are the kind that sends you to the hospital, but there are lesser eye injuries that can still cause eye irritation and cause damage over time. Blue light is a good example.
Blue light is emitted from the sun, but it also comes from computers, tablets, smartphones, LED televisions, and light bulbs. Our exposure to it is virtually continual, so blue light is a major concern.
Blue light, like UV rays, is short, high-energy waves that can pass directly through the cornea and reach the retina. Research into the long-term effects of blue light is still ongoing, but we do know blue light can impact your sleep cycles and lead to eye strain and fatigue.
Protecting your eyes from blue light exposure is essential, just like shielding your eyes from UV exposure. You can protect your eyes from harmful light and debris by simply wearing protective safety eyewear.
In fact, experts agree that 90% of all eye-related injuries are entirely preventable by wearing properly-fitted safety glasses. In case you haven’t guessed, we can help you find the perfect pair.
Safety Eyewear That Doesn’t Suck
We’ll be honest. We weren’t wearing protective safety glasses before we invented Stoggles. Why? The options available were bulky, uncomfortable, interfered with clear vision, constantly fogged, and made us feel like we were about to spend the day dissecting frogs.
We knew there had to be a better way, so we created one. Stoggles are a hybrid eyewear that combines the stunning options and comfort you love about your favorite eyeglasses or sunglasses with the critical safety features you need in protective safety specs.
When we created Stoggles, we knew we needed to create eyewear that had all the safety features you’d expect from safety glasses, so we did that, and then we added a few extra upgrades.
- ANSI Z87.1-2020 Certification. The gold standard for impact resistance, this standard means your eyewear is resistant to shattering from weighted object strikes and high-velocity strikes.
- UV protection. Stoggles are created with lightweight polycarbonate material, which is naturally UV-blocking without any tinting.
- Side and top shields. Protection that covers the entire eye area and doesn’t leave any gaps? We checked the box with top and side shields instead of wraparound lenses, which can be problematic for some.
- Anti-fog lenses. Foggy lenses are a PITA. Our lenses are treated with an anti-fog solution dip to keep them fog-free for an incredibly long, long time.
- Blue light-blocking lenses. Whether you’re at the computer or on your phone, Stoggles lenses filter away blue light to protect your eyes.
All the protection you want, wrapped up in a seriously darling package. With trend-setting frame shapes like cat-eye and aviator and numerous different colors to choose from, you can fully customize your Stoggles to create a protective look you love.
Plus, they’re super comfortable. The look of those awesome leather pants but the feel of your sweatpants from college? You’ll never want to take them, which is fine by us! Eyewear can’t protect you if you don’t wear them. And if they’re uncomfortable, you won’t wear them. Facts.
Need prescription safety eyewear? No problem. Upload your Rx to our website, and we’ll create a customized pair of Stoggles with your corrective vision prescription.
Stay Safe in Stoggles
Workplace hazards are basically everywhere. Know your risks and protect yourself, but do it in style. Stoggles keep your eyes safe without posing a fashion hazard.