Employees experience on-the-job eye injuries nearly 2,000 times each day, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Foreign objects, chemicals and radiation can all lead to serious eye injuries, as reported by Occupational Health and Safety Magazine.
The correct eye protection, however, could prevent up to 90% of the injuries or lower the risk of a vision-related medical condition. Employers that provide proper safety gear, such as goggles and safety glasses, can help workers avoid injuries that could lead to permanent vision loss.
Absent or improper protective gear may cause preventable injuries
A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey found that approximately three out of every five employees who experienced an eye injury did not wear protective gear. Many of the injured respondents reportedly also did not understand they needed to wear goggles or safety glasses.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to provide eyewear and face protection when working with equipment, machinery or chemicals known to cause injuries. Task-associated hazards and the risks of an accident dictate what type of safety gear an employer must supply.
An employer has a responsibility to create a safe workplace
As explained by Environmental Design and Construction magazine, the responsibility to maintain a safe workplace falls under an employer’s obligations to comply with OSHA standards. Employers must also provide workers with safety-related training. This typically includes which eyewear to use with each machine and how to wear protective gear correctly.
Industrial workers face a high risk of hazards that could result in serious eye-related injuries. Failure to protect employees from workplace accidents may lead to a legal action. Workers injured on the job may seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages and their pain and suffering.