Each May, the National Eye Institute sponsors Healthy Vision
Month (HVM), a national eye health observance devoted to promoting
the vision objectives in Healthy People 2010. This year, the month
is dedicated to increasing awareness among employers and employees
about the importance of workplace eye safety. Its theme is, "Eye
Safety at Work Is Everyone's Business."
day, about 2,000 U.S. workers receive medical treatment for work-related
eye injuries. Workplace eye injury is a leading cause of eye trauma,
vision loss, disability and blindness and can interfere with a
person's ability to perform his or her job and carry out normal
activities. The combination of removing or minimizing eye safety
hazards and wearing proper eye safety protection can prevent many
This year's HVM provides information and materials in both English
and Spanish that can be used to implement programs and worksite
awareness activities. These are designed to educate employers and
employees about the importance of reducing eye injuries by understanding
vision hazards and by wearing appropriate, properly fitted protective
"Personal eye protection such as safety glasses with side shields,
goggles, face shields, welding helmets and full-face respirators
can protect workers from common hazards," said NEI director Dr.
Paul Sieving. Common workplace hazards include flying fragments,
large chips, hot sparks, optical radiation, splashes from molten
metals, objects, particles and glare. "The risk of eye injury and
the need for preventive measures depend on the job and the conditions
in the workplace," Sieving explained.
Also sponsoring the observance are the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health and the National Safety Council,
in collaboration with the American Association of Occupational
Health Nurses, Inc. For more information visit www.healthyvision2010.org/hvm.