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Preventing workplace injury to eyes highlighted this month

Workers in Colorado and other states are commonly exposed to various safety hazards, one of which is highlighted during the month of March. It is reported that the number of workers who have lost some level of eyesight after workplace injuries exceeds one million. It is estimated that approximately 2,000 workers suffer a workplace injury to an eye every day.

There are various workplace hazards that may expose workers to eye injuries, such as chemical vapors, gases and liquids and molten metal, along with the dangers of flying objects or particles. Another potential hazard is injurious light radiation, and in certain fields of occupation, eye infections are prevalent. Employers must provide appropriate face and eye protection for the task at hand.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides eye safety regulations and expects employers to assess all areas of operation to identify hazards that may cause eye injuries. Lighting should be adequate, and regular eye testing should be conducted. Different types of eye protection are available to protect workers from specific hazards, and employers should ensure that the protection is based on the hazards that will be faced.

It was reported that only a small number of employees with work-related eye problems report it to their superiors. Any Colorado worker who has suffered a workplace injury to an eye may pursue compensation for medical expenses incurred. A benefits claim may also be filed with the workers' compensation insurance fund for deteriorating eyesight caused by insufficient light at the workplace. Workers should not hesitate to report eye injuries or discuss any safety concerns with their employers.

Source: safety.blr.com, "10 eye-opening safety tips for Eye Safety and Health Month", Accessed on March 20, 2015

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