As children, we are always taught “safety first!” whether it’s to look twice before crossing the street or to wear lab goggles when performing science experiments – we were always reminded about being safe and watched over. Now as adults in the work force, we are largely responsible for our own safety. Although it is mandatory for many work places to have safety eye wear, the number of employees who actually wear it other than when the supervisor is around is not very high. It is very dependent on the type of job and site that the employees are working on and if they feel it is necessary. Many of us feel that safety eye wear is cumbersome, impedes our ability to complete the job, or uncomfortable to wear. Another issue is that many of us don’t know where to get it even if we wanted it or don’t know the choices available. The Occupational Vision Plan is a program put together by the British Columbia Doctors of Optometry (BCDO) to supply companies and their employees with affordable safety eye wear for all industries.
The OVP is a network of over 270 doctors of optometry that provide comprehensive eye examinations and expertise for different safety eye wear standards. Through these optometrists, you are able to get your prescription for safety eye wear and see the different types of safety eye wear available to pick the one that best fits you and your industry. Sample kits are available to try on the different frames to see which would work best. With the help of the participating optometrist, opticians, and optometric assistants, employees are able to have everything completed at one place at an affordable price. Companies looking to participate in the program are able to sign up at www.ovp.bc.ca
According to WorkSafe BC, from 2006 to 2016, nearly 6, 000 eye injuries are due to impact from foreign objects and about 2, 000 injuries are due to chemical burns. Eye injuries in the workplace are common and can result in loss of time and employment, expensive medical and rehabilitation care, and sometimes it can lead to temporary or permanent vision loss. According to claims statistics for eye injuries, the number has decreased since the implementation of OVP in 2006 by nearly 50%. It is our responsibility as adults to make the right choices and protect our vision.
Wink is proud to be a provider under the OVP program and encourage employers to sign up for the program. It is the company’s choice if they choose to cover a portion or all of the costs involved (eye exam, frames, lenses, coatings, and accessories). Our goal is to help people find a safety frame that works for their needs and hopefully save their sight from any future accidents that might impede their vision had they not been wearing safety eye wear. We are conveniently located in Burnaby by the Metrotown skytrain station and will be more than happy to find a pair that’s right for you. By visiting an OVP optometrist, you will be able to see what’s available and find something that’s right for you.
Many of us at the other end of the work spectrum work at a desk for 6+ hours per day and are exposed to damaging blue light that is emitted from computer monitors. Due to the fact that this is largely a new finding in studies, it has not been made mandatory to protect our eyes yet. Studies are still on-going to figure out the extent to which blue light can damage our eyes, but we know it already does and has bad effects on the body. My hope is that eventually it will be mandatory for employers to provide office workers with blue-light protection whether it be through glasses or investing in screens that you can manually adjust the blue light levels. In the mean time however, we will have to be responsible for our own safety and invest in preserving our vision.