Protective eyewear isn’t a fun accessory — it’s a necessity in some jobs. In industries like construction, manufacturing, mining, health care and food service, protective eyewear prevents injury, keeping workers safe and on the job.
Don’t underestimate the importance of outfitting your workers with the right gear — it benefits your entire company.
Eye Injuries Hurt Workers and Productivity
Every year, 300,000 Americans visit the emergency room because of a work-related eye injury. While the injury may be as mild as eye strain, it could also be the result of severe trauma.
Altogether, these eye injuries contribute to many lost work days and significant financial payouts on the part of the employers for worker’s compensation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that businesses lose $300 million every year as a result of eye injuries.
So you can see that not using protective eyewear can be costly.
The Right Gear Can Help
The first step in a workplace prone to eye injury risk is to assess business practices. Identify the hazards that are causing the injuries, and try to eliminate as many risks as possible.
While risk mitigation is a key part of reducing the instance of all workplace injuries, the next step is to outfit all workers with the right protective eyewear. Also, keep the appropriate eyewash treatment on hand for emergencies.
Construction workers and auto technicians face dangers from flying metal shards, dust, nails, staples and other debris. Welders could be exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Manufacturing workers may come into contact with dangerous chemicals. Health care workers may be exposed to infectious diseases.
The risks are many, but using protective eyewear such as safety goggles or eye shields can significantly reduce chances of injury.
Promote a Culture of Safety
Even though it’s in their best interests, workers may not always use protective eye gear when it’s provided. The reasons may range from an uncomfortable fit to interference with regular eyeglasses. Also, workers may not realize the risks certain activities pose to their vision.
Beyond simply providing the right gear, employers must focus on creating a culture of workplace safety, which starts with information.
Teach your workers about the risks so they understand the reasons behind the need for using protective eyewear. Train them to reduce hazards on their own. Supervisors may also need to follow through and ensure each employee is using the appropriate eyewear for every task.
When employees are trained and responsible for their safety and the safety of their co-workers, you’ll see a reduction in eye injuries, and you’ll achieve an overall safer workplace.
Get the protective eyewear and the proper training from Shield-Safety — we can help with your effort to prevent workplace injuries.