Many workers in Alaska do jobs that put them at risk of getting a serious eye injury. Construction workers, landscapers, miners and factory workers are just a few of the occupations where objects may randomly fly into a worker’s eyes. Without proper eye protection, they usually won’t have enough time to react to small objects that could potentially strike them in the eye.
Eye injuries are common
OSHA says that around 1,000 workers suffer from a workplace eye injury every single day. The annual cost of these injuries ads up to over $300 million each year when you account for medical expenses, lost wages and lost productivity.
Eye injuries are preventable
According to OSHA, the vast majority of workplace eye injuries that happen each year could have been prevented if the worker had been given proper eye protection. Some workers lack any eye protection whatsoever while others have eye protection that is not sufficient. Some problems with eye protection that can lead to injuries include:
- No side shields
- Wrong fit
- Not impact resistant
- Wrong type of eyewear for task
It’s also important to note that if eye protection becomes scratched due to poor care, the scratches can cause vision problems that may lead to other types of workplace accidents.
Employers are responsible for providing safe eyewear
Employers should make sure that all of their workers who are exposed to hazards such as flying objects or corrosive substances have proper eyewear. Workers should be told where the eyewear is located and when it is required. Proper care and storage of the eyewear should also be clearly understood.
What to do if you already suffered from an eye injury at work
If you have already visited the doctor about your workplace eye injury, the doctor may have prescribed a certain period of rest. Eyes are incredibly delicate and important body parts, so taking the necessary time off from work to heal could be crucial for your future. Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to pay for your medical expenses and lost wages during this time.