According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), thousands of eye injuries occur on the job each day, and unfortunately, construction workers have a particularly high risk of eye injuries. Masonry work, powdered cement, windy conditions, and hammering are all potential eye hazards that construction workers encounter daily. With the potential for serious injury and costly worker compensation claims, companies need to start offering safety services and training to reduce the risk of eye injuries on the job.
Most Injuries Can Be Prevented
Most eye injuries that occur on construction sites could have been prevented. Many injuries occur because a worker wasn’t wearing eye protection. Others occur because the worker was not wearing the correct type of eye protection for the specific job. Since most injuries can be prevented, it shows how important it is for workers to keep their eyes protected with eye protection, including goggles, safety glasses, and face shields.
Common Workplace Eye Injuries
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.
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 eyewear 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 nosepieces, 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 eyewear 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.
For more information contact Tommy or Zach at 513-372-6232