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Are some employers lacking vision when it comes to eye safety?

Most employers understand and appreciate the risks facing their employees, and will always go the extra mile to protect them from serious work injuries. However, statistics show that some may be lacking the foresight needed to protect them from an otherwise obvious workplace hazard: eye injuries.

According to the organization Prevent Blindness America, there are roughly 2,000 occupational eye injuries in the U.S. every day. As if this wasn't shocking enough, the U.S. Department of Labor has determined that these occupational eye injuries cost employers over $300 million every year in lost production, medical expenses and work comp costs.

In light of these numbers, experts advise that employers ensure that they have the necessary safety equipment in place. Specifically, they recommend the installation of eyewash stations.

This is true, they say, even if employers already have specific initiatives in place concerning eye protection and abide by OSHA standards calling for employees to be outfitted with suitable protective eyewear.

This is also true, they say, for any employer whose employees are regularly subjected to heavy dust, flying debris, harsh chemicals, harmful vapors, sawdust, steel flecks and other common workplace eye hazards.

Interestingly, eyewash stations come in a variety of styles designed to meet the needs of a particular working environment. For example, places where employees are regularly subjected to corrosive chemicals or vapors -- like in a laboratory or industrial setting -- a fixed or plumbed eyewash station that can provide a continuous stream of water may be the best option. Conversely, for remote work locations, confined spaces or outdoor workers, self-contained portable devices or secondary eyewash bottles may be the best option.

When an employee suffers an eye injury, timing is everything. Having the necessary eyewash station in place can help reduce the severity of the injury, while also saving the employer time and money.

Stay tuned for more from our workers' compensation defense blog ...

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Source:

EHS Today, "Forget me not: Place eyewashes in these easily forgotten locations," Kelly Piotti, March 7, 2013

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