A new study conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has found 90 percent of occupational eye injuries can be prevented with protective gear. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics show early 2,000 workers suffer occupational eye injuries every day.
According to the AAO, almost 40 percent of eye injuries occur in the construction, mining and manufacturing industries. In addition, the AAO claims these injuries result in $300 million a year in losses. Costs associated with these injuries include lost productivity, medical treatment and other forms of compensation.
How Can Workers Suffer Occupational Eye Injuries?
The CDC claims occupational eye injuries can occur for the following reasons:
- Striking or scraping: Dust, sand, cement, metal chips and other small particles can cause eye injuries. In many cases, small particles are created by tools or blown about by wind. Large objects are also hazardous to the eyes.
- Penetration: Nails, woodchips and other solid objects can penetrate the eyes and cause permanent blindness.
- Burn injuries: Workers can suffer occupational eye injuries from thermal or chemical burns. The CDC claims welders are at higher risk for thermal burns. Workers who use certain cleaning products or other chemicals may also be at high risk.
Can Employers Prevent Occupational Eye Injuries?
Many of these risks can be mitigated when workers are provided with proper eye protection. According to the CDC, protective eyewear can include goggles, face shields, safety glasses or respirators. Workers who develop eye injuries may have options to receive workers’ compensation benefits
The Ohio workers comp attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC can help injured workers explore which options are available.