Driving Home the Eyewear Safety Message

By Tom Goeltz
A warm up in the weather provides us with an opportunity to experience the great outdoors, whether it’s tinkering around the house or sprucing up the garden. However, as more Americans engage in these activities in the spring and summer months, the potential for eye injuries increases tremendously.

Under the sink, in the storage shed or in the garage, there are more eye hazards in the home than many people think. From bleaches, aerosols, wood finishing products, hand tools, weed eaters and power saws, these items are commonly used without any eye protection.

Over 1.5 million eye injuries occur each year in the home environment, approximately 40 percent of all eye injuries. According to Prevent Blindness America, it is estimated that over 90 percent of these injuries could have been prevented with proper safety eyewear.

As an industry we not only have an opportunity to increase business with safety eyewear, but also the responsibility to keep American’s eyes safe. For those in the laboratory business, this time of year is a great time to meet with your eye care professional partners and remind them about the importance of promoting safety eyewear. By providing your partners with a few key points about eye protection, you help them become the eye safety expert in the eyes of their patients.

In addition to helping eye care professionals protect their patients’ vision, promoting safety eyewear around the home can also help to increase laboratories’ business of safety eyewear and to increase the units they process within the laboratory.

Talking Points for Home Eye Safety In opening up the lines of communication with your eye care professional partners, it’s important to clarify the need for safety eyewear for their patients, as well as to provide product solutions.

• Explain the need: Talk to your eye care professional partners about the prevalence of eye injuries around the home and the timeliness of the message. Let them know that the spring and summer months are prime time for home eye injuries and that many can be prevented (see statistics above).

• Provide the tools: Develop a short questionnaire that eye care professionals can review with their patients to determine what hobbies and activities they participate in regularly. Also offer eye care professionals a “cheat sheet” on the differences between dress and safety eyewear for them to share with patients.

• Promote your services: Conclude by reminding eye care professionals about the services your laboratory offers for safety eyewear and help your customers in their selection of the proper eyewear. You can also assist the eye care professionals by informing them of the ANSI Z87.1 standards for protective eyewear.

By advising eye care professionals to speak with their patients about home eye safety, we can do our part to prevent eye injuries and to increase protective eyewear sales. For more information about home eye injuries, a sample questionnaire and “cheat sheet,” please contact Tom Goeltz, The Vision Council’s Vision Protection Committee consultant at tjgoeltz@comcast.net.

The Vision Council’s Vision Protection Committee is dedicated to expanding the protective eyewear market on behalf of all segments of the industry, from sports and industrial safety eyewear to computer vision lenses to home eye and sun protection.


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May/June LabTalk 2017