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Smith Welch Webb & White Blog

Friday, July 11, 2014

Workers' Compensation, and How Employers Can Help Prevent Eye Injuries

July is “Eye Injury Prevention Month,” which is an event designed to help raise visibility to a very important topic.  More than 2,000 eye injuries happen every day and half of those injuries occur in the workplace.  

How does this happen?  And can these accidents be prevented?  According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost 70% of the eye injuries are caused by falling objects, flying objects or sparks hitting the eye.  And it is estimated that over 90% of eye injuries are preventable with protective eyewear that is designed and fitted to OSHA safety standards. 

The legal requirements regarding workplace safety can be complex, and vary by work site.  Overall, employers can prevent most eye injuries by taking these three important steps:

  1. Proper Equipment:  Employers are required to provide eye protection for employees whenever they are exposed to potential eye injuries.  Forms of eye protection may vary, dependent upon the types of hazards in the workplace.  For example, a different type of eyewear is used to when working near chemical vapors versus sawdust. According to BLS statistics, approximately three out of every five workers that suffered eye injuries on the job were not wearing the right kind of eye protection for the job, or were not using eye protection at all.  Protective eyewear that is not the right type for the job, not properly fitted, or is worn incorrectly will not effectively prevent injuries. 

  2. Training: In addition to providing the right type of protective eyewear, employers are required to provide thorough training for employees.  Safety training needs to be conducted by a trained program administrator who can tailor the program to your specific work site.  This training may need to take place multiple times during the year, and should include how to inspect, wear, remove, clean, store and maintain the eyewear.  Good training increases the likelihood of eyewear being worn properly and protecting your employees as intended.   

  3. Communication and Compliance: Whether it is in-person training, written materials or signs posted in the workplace, it is better to risk over-communicating than under-communicating when it comes to workplace hazards.  Inadequate communication or lack of compliance can leave workers vulnerable to injury and employers exposed to liabilities.

Workplace accidents that result in eye injuries can result in serious vision impairment, blindness and disability.  And while there are many variables that employers cannot control, employers can make great strides toward a safer workplace by providing the proper equipment, a well-executed training program and clear communication.   

For more information about legal compliance with workplace safety regulations, or other worker’s compensation issues from an employer’s perspective, email William A. White atwwhite@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-957-3937.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the State of Georgia with expertise in this area of law. We have an uncompromising commitment to serving our clients and our community. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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Smith Welch Webb & White serve clients throughout the south metro Atlanta area including but not limited to McDonough, Stockbridge, DeKalb County, Clayton County, Henry County, Peach County, Jonesboro, Spalding County, Butts County, and Lamar County.



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