Employers in Minnesota that have workers who are required to perform certain types of hazardous jobs must provide them with eye protection. They should also ensure that their employees are trained in safe practices and that they always wear the safety gear with which they are provided. Workplace eye injuries are common and can leave people with debilitating injuries, including the loss of sight or the loss of an eye.
Eye injury statistics
According to data reported by Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, over 2,000 workplace eye injuries happen each day, and 10% of these injuries cause people to miss one or more days of work. Experts report that 90% of these workplace eye injuries could be prevented by wearing proper eye protection. Of those who suffer workplace eye injuries, between 10% and 20% suffer temporary or permanent vision loss. Despite the dangers of going without eye protection, many workers fail to wear it while working around hazards in the workplace.
Why do workers fail to wear eye protection?
There are several reasons why some workers fail to wear eye protection when they work around workplace hazards, including the following:
• Discomfort because of poor construction
• Failure of the employer to provide appropriate eye protection
• Misguided belief that wearing eye protection is unnecessary
• Lack of anti-fogging technology
• Concern about appearance
The reasons for failing to wear eye protection at work can be addressed through appropriate workplace safety training and providing good-quality safety glasses for employees to wear.
Employers should mandate wearing eye protection at all times when employees are working in and around equipment that could injure their eyes. They should thoroughly train employees on safety protocols and ensure that they provide them with eye protection that meets or exceeds the guidelines published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. If workers fail to wear eye protection, disciplinary measures should be enforced.