March designated as workplace eye safety month

By Plant Engineering Staff February 24, 2006

Prevent Blindness America has designated March as “Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month” in an effort to raise awareness about the necessity of eye safety on the job.

The report also showed that manufacturing or production jobs had the highest eye injury rates, followed by installation, maintenance and repair, and construction. Many of these injuries occurred after being struck by an object or after rubbing the eye once debris had entered it.

“It is vital for employers and employees to make eye safety a number one priority every single day,” said Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president of Prevent Blindness America.

As of 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that eye injuries total more than $300 million a year in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation.

Prevent Blindness America offers the following tips to promote safety in the workplace:

  • Safety eyewear must have “ANSI Z87” clearly marked on all glasses or goggles and should be worn at all times whenever eye hazards are present.

  • Workers should know where the nearest eye wash station is at their job site and how to use it.

  • Employers should be notified immediately if safety hazards are discovered.

  • Employees should have regular eye exams to make sure their vision is adequate to do their jobs safely.

  • Those who already have reduced vision should ask their employers if prescription glasses or goggles can be provided.

    • Prevent Blindness America offers several free fact sheets and brochures to safety managers and consumers. For information, call (800) 331-2020 or visit www.preventblindness.org .

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