The eyes may be the windows to the soul—but they’re also an area of the body that is seriously vulnerable to threats in the workplace.
In fact, each day about 2,000 workers sustain work-related eye injuries severe enough to require medical treatment, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. It’s not surprising that such a great quantity of injuries results in millions of dollars in lost time, workers’ comp, and medical expenses—$300 million, in fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
We don’t bring this up to scare you (although the stats above may be a little frightening!). Actually, there’s a silver lining to this cloud: most work-related eye injuries are preventable, with appropriate engineering or administrative controls, or appropriate personal protective equipment. A whopping 90 percent of work-related eye injuries could be prevented by engineering controls and PPE.
PPE could range from goggles or safety glasses to face shields and full-face respirators. What employers need to do is decide what type of PPE is most appropriate for their workforce, something that can most likely be deduced by a hazard assessment of each workplace activity alongside consideration of regulatory requirements.
Once you decide on the appropriate PPE for your workforce, make sure that each individual has equipment that fits appropriately (or can be adjusted to provide sufficient protection), that the workforce is trained in using the equipment correctly.
Happy Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month!
Beall Financial and Insurance Services has been working with business-owners for more than 25 years to help them protect their most important assets, and their companies’ future. If you have questions about insurance coverage for your business, contact us.