With approximately 2000 workplace eye injuries occurring yearly in the United States, eye protection should be a concern for Minnesota employers managing hazardous environments. Eye injuries can range from minor abrasions to vision loss, so it’s essential to be proactive in providing eye protection for all employees.
Common causes of workplace eye injuries
Individuals with uncorrected or underlying vision problems are more likely to sustain workplace injuries, and not just for the eyes alone. This is because when someone can’t see well, they will try to lean in closer to whatever they are viewing or strain their eyes beyond what is healthy. They may also make miscalculations when handling dangerous tools, resulting in accidents.
Welding torches are also a significant hazard for the eyes, as exposure to intense UV radiation can cause flash burns. Therefore, it’s vital for everyone near a welding torch, including bystanders, assistants and supervisors, should wear a welding helmet or glasses with UV protection.
Additionally, chemicals and flying objects can result in painful eye injuries. Employers must provide appropriate safety equipment, such as protective goggles or face shields, when dealing with hazardous materials. In addition, employers should also ensure that guardrails and other physical barriers are in place to protect workers from projectiles flying through the air.
Dealing with eye injuries in the workplace
When injured, an employee should get immediate medical attention, depending on the severity of the injury. If a foreign object is present in the eye, they should not attempt to remove it themselves and instead seek professional help.
If you have suffered eye injuries that led to high treatment costs or had you out of work for some time, you can apply for workers’ compensation to recover damages. You can also file a lawsuit against the employer if they were negligent in providing or enforcing safety equipment or regulations.
Safe working is key to avoiding eye injuries, but it’s important to remember that prevention and protection are just as important. Employers must provide proper safety equipment and ensure employees use it correctly when dealing with hazardous materials in their workplace. Employees must also adhere to safety protocols to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them.