Each day some 2,000 U.S. workers suffer a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments, with more than 100 daily injuries causing one or more days of lost work.
Whether you consider the number of injuries per day, the associated healthcare costs or the hours of lost productivity, the numbers associated with job-related eye injuries can be overwhelming. But what's even more revealing, according to Prevent Blindness America® (PBA): as many as 90 percent of workplace eye injuries could be prevented by proper eye protection.
Of nearly 300,000 workplace eye injuries in 2000, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly three out of every five workers injured were wearing no eye protection or the wrong kind of eye protection at the time of the accident. Injury statistics show:
- The majority of injuries result from small particles or objects striking or abrading the eye.
- Among welders, their assistants and nearby workers, UV radiation burns
(welder's flash) routinely damage workers' eyes and surrounding tissue.
- In addition to common eye injuries, health care workers, laboratory staff,
janitorial workers, animal handlers, and other workers may be at risk of
acquiring infectious diseases via ocular exposure.
More information on workplace eye safety, including no-cost materials and programs, can be found at:
Prevent Blindness America
PBA Wise Owl Program
OSHA Eye and Face Protection page
PBA workplace fact sheets
Safety and protective eyewear information at UVEX
NIOSH eye safety page
NIOSH eye safety presentation
Eye safety resources from the American Optometric Association