Workplace Eye Protection

Wearing the proper personal protective equipment in the workplace can significantly reduce the risk of suffering a work-related eye injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are nearly 800,000 work-related eye injuries each year. Every day, approximately 2,000 U.S. workers receive medical treatment for eye injuries related to or sustained at work. While vision loss is one of the ten most common disabilities, nearly 90% of eye injuries are preventable.

Eye injuries occur most often among those who operate heavy machinery or equipment with moving parts and among those who work in construction. About 70% of eye injuries are caused by an object or piece of equipment coming into contact with the eye and 26% of eye injuries are due to exposure to harmful substances or environments.

These injuries come with significant costs. An estimated $300 million annually in medical bills, compensation, and lost productivity are the result of workplace eye injuries, with more than 27,000 lost work days being reported by private industry employees.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have established a wide range of standards to guard against eye injuries on the job. These include workplace standards regarding eye and face protection to guard against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and technical standards focused on the proper manufacturing of the glasses themselves.