Eye Safety

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Each year the American Optometric Association (AOA) dedicates the month of March to raising Americans’ awareness of the importance of regular eye care. When evaluating the eye care needs of your employees, take into consideration the following eye safety facts.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment each day.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 60 percent of workers who got eye injuries were not wearing proper protective eyewear. "I didn't think I needed them" should never be the answer as to why safety glasses were not worn.

According to the National Eye Institute, an estimated 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented through the use of proper protective eyewear on the job.

Under the Healthy People 2010 program, the nation’s official public health agenda, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hopes to cut workplace eye injuries by almost a third over the course of this decade.

Safety eyewear is now available in a variety of new styles and materials that make it more attractive and comfortable to wear. OSHA also requires all employers to be in compliance with ANSI Z87 for all protective eyewear in the workplace.

OSHA standards require employers to ensure workers have suitable eye protection. To that end, OSHA requires employers to formally assess workplace eye hazards, select the appropriate type of eyewear to use, train and certify employees in eye protection, and plan for eye emergencies (see the OSHA Eye and Face Protection e-Tool, a step-by-step guide to OSHA requirements, hazard assessment and safety eyewear selection here). 

Workers who wear prescription glasses must also wear required eye protection.

Protective eyewear must be properly fitted to be effective. Don't let lack of comfort be a barrier to full-time safety eyewear use.

The AOA recommends that supervisors in the workplace, in schools, and at recreational events should mandate wearing eye protection in all activities in which a risk of eye injury exists.

Source: American Optometric Association

Additional Resources
WCF Insurance Safety Department
385.351.8103

Ask a Safety Consultant

https://www.osha.gov
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/

NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.

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