According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupational eye injuries cause production losses to the value of $300 million each year nationwide, including in Arizona. An estimated 700,000 employees’ eyes are hurt at work each year, equaling about 2,000 such injuries per day — or one every 45 seconds. That is alarming considering that the simple solution is to wear eye protection.
Safety authorities say most eye injuries happen because workers wear inappropriate eye protection or none at all. Reportedly, the industry with the highest occurrence of eye injuries is manufacturing, with over 8,000 reports per year. In about seven in 10 cases, the injuries are caused by objects that are smaller than pinheads.
Airborne objects such as dust or sand can be windblown, and small particles of wood or metal can be ejected from tools. Tiny bits of debris can also fall from higher levels, and larger objects can dislodge from equipment. Welder’s flash or UV radiation can cause eye damage, and steam can cause burns. Splashes of hazardous chemicals such as grease and others fluids can also cause serious harm to eyes,
BLS says a significant percentage of workers whose eyes were hurt on the job wore no eye protection at the time of the injuries. When an employee in Arizona suffers an occupational eye injury, immediate medical attention is vital, followed by an incident report to a supervisor. The injured worker will then be free to seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for help with the navigation of benefits claims that will likely cover medical expenses and lost wages.
Source: chronicle.kennametal.com, “I Can See Clearly Now, the Speck Is Gone: Preventing Workplace Eye Injuries,” Dec. 1, 2017