Common Workplace Eye Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Eye injuries can occur quickly and without warning, and the results can range from minor to catastrophic. Pieces of flying metal and glass, dust particles, other airborne contaminants, chemicals, malfunctioning tools, and radiation are the leading causes of workplace eye injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries include a scratched cornea, a foreign object lodged in the eye, and a strike by an object to the outside of the eye.

Thousands of eye-related workplace accidents occur each year, with many resulting in temporary or permanent loss of vision, sick days, worker’s compensation claims, and long-term or permanent disability. The vast majority of those accidents could have been prevented by using appropriate eye protection.

How to Protect Workers from Eye Injuries

Construction and manufacturing workers, as well as some employees who work in landscaping, maintenance, and occupations in which they use chemicals and other hazardous substances, should wear protective equipment. Safety glasses with side protection can shield the eyes from flying objects and dust, and goggles can protect workers from chemicals that might accidentally be splashed or sprayed. Welders and employees who work with lasers and fiber optics may need safety glasses, goggles, helmets, or face shields, depending on the circumstances.

Anyone who works in or passes through an area where eye injuries could occur should wear eye protection. Even if that individual would not be performing hazardous work or be in the immediate vicinity of potentially dangerous conditions, something unexpected could happen in a fraction of a second.

In many cases, hazards can be reduced or eliminated by using appropriate equipment to protect employees from flying debris, particles, and other potential sources of injury. These types of equipment could include protective devices attached to tools and machines, screens, and other measures.

Employers should consider the specifics of each position and work environment to determine the level of risk. Business owners and managers should institute safety protocols, thoroughly train employees, provide appropriate protective equipment, and make sure employees follow procedures.

Provide Your Workers with the Protection They Need

Workplace eye injuries are common and often serious, but many of them are completely preventable. If there is any danger of eye injuries at your job site, your employees should be provided with appropriate protective equipment and required to use it. Respond Systems offers eye protection, first aid kits, and on-site training. Order supplies or schedule training today.

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