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7/22/2013 - Make eye protection a priority

Eye protection should be preached by employers to their workers.

Even though slips and falls may seem like the biggest safety threat to workers while they're on the job, an injury that's nearly as common are those that affect the eyes.

July is Eye Injury Prevention Month, and according to the Department of Labor, approximately 1,000 people are impacted by them each day. In fact, over a given year, about $300 million in work productivity is lost, resulting from medical expenses, workers compensation insurance losses and time and money spent replacing workers who have to take a sabbatical in order to tend to their wound.

Perhaps the easiest way to avoid eye injuries is by wearing eye protection, especially in professions like manufacturing, craft work and industrial equipment operation. Yet all too often, workers fail to take these preventive steps. Statistics from the Labor Department reveal that for every five workers with an eye injury, three of them weren't wearing eye protection at the time.

In addition to wearing the appropriate shielding, training and education on the topic is important as well to avoid these incidents. Polls from the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in a majority of cases, those who weren't wearing eye protection before being injured didn't realize that they needed it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chief sources of eye injuries tend to be flying objects, such as waste, debris and scrap metal. Chemicals and their by-products are often responsible as well. Since working in a dangerous environment leaves your employees susceptible to workers compensation claims, it is important to keep them informed and protected.

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