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Keeping An Eye On Workplace Eye Safety

2,000 U.S. workers suffer eye injuries each day, experts warn

SUNDAY, March 6, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Safety glasses and goggles may fall short as a fashion statement, but they're definitely an attractive alternative when compared to an eye injury.

As many as 2,000 people suffer work-related eye injures each day in the United States, says Prevent Blindness America (PBA), which has designated March as Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of eye safety in the workplace.

"We already know that 90 percent of all job-related eye injuries can be prevented. When employers and workers join together to make their job sites safer, the results will be dramatic," Daniel D. Garrett, PBA senior vice president, said in a prepared statement.

This is an important issue for both workers and employers. Eye injuries account for more than $300 million a year in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation, says the U.S. Department of Labor.

The PBA offers the following tips on workplace eye safety:

  • Safety eyewear must have "ANSI Z87" clearly marked on it and should be worn whenever there is a potential eye hazard.
  • All employees should know the location of the nearest eye wash station and how to use it.
  • Workers should be notified immediately if safety hazards are discovered.
  • Employees should have regular eye exams to ensure their vision is adequate for them to safely perform their jobs.
  • People with reduced vision should ask their employers for prescription safety glasses or goggles.

More information

Prevent Blindness America has more about workplace eye safety.

SOURCE: Prevent Blindness America, news release, Feb. 25, 2005
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