Nonprofit designates March vision wellness month, hopes to see lower costs
More than 700,000 work-related eye injuries occur each year at a cost of nearly $500,000. With indirect costs, such as legal fees, judgments, and training new workers, the estimated total cost to businesses is approximately $1 billion annually, according to Prevent Blindness America.
The Chicago-based nonprofit has deemed March Workplace Vision Wellness Month to educate companies and their employees on the importance of vision health. Additional statistics about workplace eye injuries indicate that one in 10 require one or more missed workdays and of the total work-related injuries up to 20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.
Most -- 90 percent -- of all workplace eye injuries are preventable, PBA reports. The organization has made available free information, posters, and recommendations to promote eye health among America's workforce.
The nonprofit identifies the workplace categories that contribute most to eye injuries such as welding equipment, tools, adhesives, power tools, and bleaches.
A true/false safety quiz sheds light on myths and facts about eye safety, such as:
- Safety glasses can be bad for your health? False. Looking through safety eyewear even for long periods of time will not affect vision.
- Using a computer terminal is not damaging to the eyes? True. There is no clinical evidence that video display terminals can damage the eyes.
- Contact lenses can provide enough safety in a work environment to avoid the need for safety glasses? False. They should be used with other appropriate eye protection.
- All eyeglasses sold in the U.S. are required to be impact-resistant? True. But they are not necessarily impact-proof. On the other hand, industrial-type safety eyewear must meet more stringent standards.
- Face shields offer adequate eye protection? False. They are adequate only when used with the right safety glasses or goggles.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
March 21, 2011
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