According to Prevent Blindness America, nearly one million Americans have lost some degree of their sight due to an eye injury. More than 700,000 Americans injure their eyes at work each year. Of those, about 100,000 will be disabling, resulting in temporary or permanent vision loss. Luckily, 90% of all workplace eye injuries can be avoided by using proper safety eyewear.
10 Ways that you can prevent an eye injury in your workplace:
1. Assess– Inspect all work areas, access routes, and equipment for hazards to eyes. Study eye accident and injury reports. Identify operations and areas that present eye hazards.
2. Test– Uncorrected vision problems can cause accidents. Provide vision testing during routine employee physical exams.
3. Protect– Select protective eyewear that is designed for the specific duty or hazard. Protective eyewear must meet the standards from OSHA.
4. Participate– Create a 10% mandatory program for eye protection in all operation areas of your plant.
5. Fit– Workers need protective eyewear that fits well and is comfortable. Have eyewear fitted by an eye care professional.
6. Plan for an Emergency– Set up first-aid procedures for eye injuries. Have eyewash stations that are easy to get to, especially where chemicals are used.
7. Educate– Conduct ongoing educational programs to create, keep up, and highlight the need for protective eyewear.
8. Support– Management support is key to having a successful eye safety program.
9. Review– Regularly review and update your accident prevention policies.
10. Put it in writing– Once your safety program is created, put it in writing. Display a copy of the policy in work and employee gathering areas.