Occupational eye injuries are common and preventable. Between 1985 and 1991, there were 635 work-related penetrating eye injuries among the 2939 cases (22%) reported to the National Eye Trauma System Registry by 48 collaborating centers in 28 states and Washington, DC. The median age of the injured workers was 30 years; 75% were younger than 40 years; and 97% were male. The commonest causes of injuries were projectiles (457 cases), sharp objects (166 cases), blunt objects (60 cases), and blasts (22 cases); these terms are not mutually exclusive. Specific objects causing injuries included nails, wire, screwdrivers, and other hand tools. There was evidence of alcohol use by at least 2% of the injured workers. When they were injured, 6% of the workers were wearing safety glasses; 3% were wearing nonsafety eyewear. Posterior segment trauma, which occurred in 63% of the cases, included vitreous hemorrhage (42%), intraocular foreign bodies (35%), and retinal detachment (10%). Hyphema occurred in 35% and traumatic cataract in 32% of the cases. Initial visual acuity after injury was hand motion or worse in 43% of the cases. National Eye Trauma System Registry data are useful to identify strategies to prevent occupational eye injuries such as wider use of safety glasses and improvement in engineering controls.