According to Prevent Blindness America, 90% of all workplace eye injuries are preventable if proper safety eyewear is worn. New employees should have vision testing and current workers should have regular eye examinations. In work locations such as plants, it should be mandatory that 100% of the employees wear safety glasses that meet OSHA standards.
Workers must be responsible for the care of their safety eyewear; the company’s responsibility would be having eyewash stations readily available, and training their employees in first aid.
Employers should have written accident prevention policies for all type of on the job accidents, including a “NO EYE INJURIES” goal. Support from management should be foremost, with policies being reviewed and revised as needed, and displayed in prominent places where employees couldn’t miss seeing them!
For older workers, bifocal safety glasses are available. Vision challenges are more common in workers who become frustrated by trying to focus on objects near at hand and switching between their safety glasses and prescription glasses. Magnifying lens built into the safety glass lens perform just like standard bifocal glasses. There are also safety glasses that fit over prescription glasses.
The US Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that eye injuries from welding account for more than 15,000 per year, with power tool eye injuries coming in second, at 10,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 700,000 work-related eye injuries occur per year.
Protecting eyes from permanent damage should be on everyone’s high priority list. It’s a simple thing to put on a pair of safety glasses, and not taking the time to do so could be very costly.
Prevent Blindness America