This helpful blog will provide you and your employees to understand the effects of substance abuse and how to properly protect their eyes in the work place.
The Importance of Workplace Eye Protection
More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day, and about 10 per cent of those injuries require workers to miss at least one day of work to recover. Because the majority of these injuries can be prevented by wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE), it is important to know the type of eye protection you should use for hazards in the workplace.
Eye protection primarily consists of two types of eyewear: safety spectacles, which are similar to eyeglasses and feature side shields, and safety goggles, which form a protective seal around both eyes. Additionally, secondary protection such as a face shield may be required, depending on the hazards present.
- Here are common causes of eye injuries, and guidance to help protect yourself:
- Flying or falling objects can cause abrasions, punctures and contusions. Be sure to wear safety spectacles when you are exposed to impact hazards, and a face shield if necessary.
- Work near hot materials can cause sparks or splashes that could injure your eyes. Be sure to wear tinted, heat-resistant safety goggles when working around heat, and a face shield that is thick enough to protect the rest of your face from hot materials.
- Chemical splashes, mists, vapours or fumes can enter your eyes due to inadequate eye protection. Always wear safety goggles with protective seals when working around chemicals, and know the location of emergency eyewash stations in your workplace in case an injury occurs.
In addition to wearing the appropriate PPE for your eyes, remember to prioritise your general eye health when at work. Best practices like the 20/20/20 rule (take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and focus your eyes on something placed 20 feet away) can help prevent eye fatigue and ensure your eyesight stays sharp both at work and at home.
Health and safety experts argue that the correct eye protection could lessen the severity of or even prevent 90 per cent of all eye injuries.
The Effects of Substance Abuse
Drug and alcohol abuse is a self-destructive habit that can ruin jobs and relationships, and lead to a variety of health problems. Also, the side effects of substance abuse can have immediate and deadly consequences at work.
Every day about 200,000 British workers are hungover at work from the night before, and 22 per cent of those workers admit to making mistakes at work because they are hungover, according to a YouGov survey.
Because substance abuse can have severe consequences in the workplace, it is important to do the following:
- Be on the lookout for signs of substance abuse in yourself or co-workers, such as changes in personality, bloodshot or glazed eyes, strange marks on the body, and depression.
- Remember that substance abuse impairs decision-making and motor skills. This could lead to an accident if you or a co-worker comes to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Talk to your supervisor if you think your workplace has or may someday contribute to substance abuse in yourself or your co-workers. Contributors may include high stress, long hours, isolation and periods of inactivity.
- Talk to your supervisor straight away if you believe that you or a co-worker has a problem with substance abuse. Remember that, as your employer, our first obligation is to the health and safety of everyone in the workplace—including anyone with a substance abuse problem.
Real-life Case Study
William, a motor vehicle technician, arrived at work after a late night of drinking with his mates. He was nauseous, tired and had a headache—in short, William was hungover.
As William was driving a customer’s car into a service station, he failed to notice a set of tools on the ground and drove over them—destroying the tools and damaging the car.
When he met with his supervisor to discuss the incident, William mentioned that he was hungover. His supervisor then mentioned the company’s confidential employee assistance programme (EAP), which included resources and support for employees dealing with potential substance abuse.
Now, William is currently using the EAP and is learning when to stop drinking when he’s out with his mates so that he can be productive, safe and attentive the following day.