Every year, more than 300,000 Americans visit the emergency room to treat a work related eye injury. The personal and economic toll of eye injuries in the workplace is alarming. And these on-the-job injuries (ranging from simple eye strain to severe trauma) often require one or more missed work days for recovery. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical treatment and worker compensation. A significant portion of these injuries occur in manufacturing.
During eye safety month in September, Hughes, along with the PreventBlindness.org is reminding employers and workers about the importance of wearing eye protection.
The number one way to prevent serious eye injuries is by providing the proper protective eyewear.
Thousands of eye accidents happen each day; 90 percent of these are preventable with the use of appropriate safety eyewear.
The type of safety eye protection needed depends on the hazards in your workplace and should be compliant with OSHA regulations for eye and face protection. Always be sure that the eye safety wear provided for employees is OSHA-compliant and has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to meet their eye protection standards.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of all non-fatal workplace eye injuries happen in manufacturing, construction and mining industries.
Some common hazards and causes for eye injuries include airborne objects (bits of metal or glass particles flying in the air), injuries from tools, harmful radiation or chemical splash or spills.
The best defense against an eye injury is to make employees aware of eye safety dangers at work through an eye hazard assessment and employee training programs, eliminate hazards before they start (use machine guarding, screens, etc), and provide proper eye protection.
Additionally, workers need protective eyewear that fits well and is comfortable. Require each worker to be in charge of his or her own gear and provide repairs when necessary. Finally, regularly review and update accident prevention policies. The goal? No eye injuries or accidents in the workplace!
In case of an eye injury, follow the EyeSmart Care and Treatment Recommendations for Eye Injury to learn the dos and don’ts of eye injury first aid.
Safety eyewear protection includes non-prescription and prescription safety glasses, goggles, face shields, welding helmets and full-face respirators. Let Hughes Enterprises and 3MTM outfit your workforce and keep employees safe. We also offer everything from respirators and hearing protection to protective apparel.
Hughes Enterprises can also make expert recommendations regarding appropriate safety supplies, equipment, and models. Contact us to provide the right protection for your employees today!
For more eye injury first aid tips and information about workplace eye safety, visit www.eyesmart.org.