Workplace eye injuries on the rise among young workers in Nova Scotia

2/12/2015

​Starting February 17, 2015, Nova Scotia Community Colleges across the province will host 12 eye safety workshops that aim to instill a culture of safety among students studying skilled trades and Nova Scotia’s future workforce.

Since 2012, the number of reported workplace eye injuries has increased by 50 per cent in workers aged 15-24. Young employees are now among the highest risk groups for work-related eye injuries.

“A few devastating seconds is all it takes to go from 20/20 vision to no vision when a worker isn’t wearing protective eyewear,” said Warren Spires, CNIB’s National Director of Eye Safety.

In Nova Scotia, while the overall number of eye injuries – resulting in lost time – has declined in recent years, workplace eye injuries among young workers continues to rise.

“Raising awareness of vision health and the importance of practicing proper, work safe procedures before students start their careers will help to foster safer workplaces throughout our province,” said Spires.

In Canada, it is estimated that more than 720,000 Canadians experience an eye injury requiring medical attention each year – often resulting in lost time in the workplace and, in some cases, temporary or permanent vision loss.

The most common causes of eye injuries include: foreign matter entering the eye, trauma, chemical exposure, exposure to radiation and not wearing the right kind of personal protective equipment for the task being performed.

CNIB’s province-wide college tour is part of the organization’s Eye Safety Program, an initiative that educates employers and frontline employees about the importance of practicing eye safety at work, at home and at play. As a result, the program aims to reduce the incidence of eye injuries – especially among young workers in Nova Scotia.

CNIB’s Eye Safety Program is proudly supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, Novartis, Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, and NSCC. To learn more or to book an eye safety workshop for your organization, please visit cnib.ca/eyesafety.

To arrange media interviews, please contact:

Nicole Lawrence
Communications Specialist, CNIB
902.453.1480, ext. 5721
nicole.lawrence@cnib.ca

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