The most common workplace eye injuries occur due to small objects or particles abrading or striking the eye, such as dust, wood chips, or fine slivers of metal. Falling or flying objects often cause injuries when they strike the eye, and in most cases, those objects are so tiny that they are nearly invisible to the naked eye. Less common types of eye injuries include chemical burns, blunt force trauma, and thermal burns to the eye. In some cases, objects may penetrate the eyeball, causing serious damage. Here’s more information on eye protection and safety on construction sites.
The Cost of Eye Injuries
Eye injuries do more than damage the vision of construction workers – they’re costly as well. Workers compensation payments, medical bills, and lost productivity on site combine to cost companies millions of dollars each year. The best way to improve worker safety, reducing these high costs for companies, is to implement and enforce safety procedures on the job.
Improving Compliance with Personal Protective Equipment
Why do so many workers fail to wear eye protection on construction sites? Many workers find personal protective equipment uncomfortable, and workers are less likely to wear protective eye wear if that is the case. To improve compliance, companies need to focus on providing comfortable and practical personal protective equipment. Features that improve comfort include vented frames, gel or padded nose pieces, and cushioned brows. Some companies even find that offering eye protection in various styles and colors also improves compliance.
To improve worker safety and compliance, companies need to provide proper training, as well. Training helps workers identify situations when they need to use protective eye equipment, reducing the risk of injuries on the job. Training sessions should address when eye protection should be worn, compliance enforcement processes, where protective eye wear is located, and how replacements can be obtained.
Eye protection on construction sites is just as important as hard hats and other types of safety equipment. Companies must train workers in eye safety while providing comfortable, cutting-edge eye protection equipment. While training and equipment requires an investment, the reduction in on-the-job injuries will reduce costs associated with eye injuries, making the investment an excellent choice.