, delayed by 20 minutes

Eye injuries can happen anywhere – but they don’t have to

Students from Menihek High School
Students from Menihek High School, Labrador City participate in the Industrial Eye Safety Program

September 2021 – Did you know eye injuries are one of the leading causes of sight loss? And 60% of these injuries are sustained as a direct result of not wearing protective eyewear at the time of the incident? This means by increasing awareness of the importance of protective eyewear and methods of injury prevention, incident rates and subsequent sight loss will be dramatically reduced.

That’s why for more than 15 years we have partnered with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), providing more than $300,000 in funding and in developing their Industrial Eye Safety Program, an initiative aimed to increase awareness of eye injury prevention.

This program was launched after NL experienced a sharp increase in eye injuries with nearly 400 occurring annually across the province. The Industrial Eye Safety Program includes a 60-minute workshop featuring real-life stories and personal testimonials serving as a good reminder for participants of the hazards that exist in both our professional and personal lives.

“Regardless of where the eye injury occurs, the outcome is the same, so educating people across post-secondary campuses and industries about the many ways we inadvertently put our eyes at risk every day has led to a significant reduction of eye injuries in the workplace,” shares Debbie Ryan, Program Lead of the CNIB Industrial Eye Safety Program. “We would like to extend our deepest thanks to Cenovus for their commitment and ongoing support of this crucial program.”

As of June 2021, CNIB has delivered more than 445 workshops to 16,000 participants across industry, high schools and post-secondary institutions. And the workshops are having an effect - the most recent statistics from Workplace NL shows an incredible 58% reduction in the provincial eye injury rate over the last 10 years.

“We recognize the importance this program has on influencing a culture of safety in the workplace,” says Stacy Belbin, Group Lead of Deployed Health and Safety, Atlantic Region at Cenovus. “In our work, safety is always the top priority and providing these messages early on in training and in careers creates good safety practices not only at work, but at home as well.”