Across many professions and industries, employees are routinely exposed to hazardous chemicals at work. Everyone from scientists, dealing with chemicals in labs, to janitors who use chemicals for cleaning purposes, is exposed to these substances in various settings. Unfortunately, many chemicals commonly used in workplace settings are extremely hazardous, and cause workers serious and long-lasting eye injuries.
According to Prevent Blindness America, an organization dedicated to promoting eye safety in the workplace, over 2,000 workers injure their eyes in work-related incidents every day, and of these incidents, 10-20% result in temporary or permanent blindness.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) estimates that eye injuries cost over $300 million each year in lost production time, medical expenses, and workers compensation benefits. The high prevalence and cost of workplace eye injuries has resulted in a nationwide education campaign, started by OSHA, to seek better eye protection practices and minimize eye injury risks in workplaces around the country. In particular, OSHA is focusing on the craft industries – including mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, and general repairers, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over 40% of workplace eye injuries occur in these industries. Continue reading