One in every ten cases of eye injuries in the workplace results in the injured employee having to spend a few days away from work to recover, according to Prevent Blindness. For a company with products that have a high demand from its customers, a single non-working day from your most valued employee could mean losing a few customers.
On the flip side, there is the risk of being sued for a workplace injury. In case you had neglected the safety of the employee in any way, you might lose the case and suffer through financial loss, not to mention reputational damage. Luckily, preventing workplace injury is as easy as overseeing that all safety procedures have been met.
Check out this infographic on preventing vision-related injuries:
Here is how to avoid workplace eye injuries:
Enforce safety guidelines
Before choosing to protect your employees from eye damage, you ought to assess all the situations that might lead to eye injuries in your organization. For instance, if you’re a metal fabrication company that does welding, failing to protect your employees’ eyes by enforcing the use of safety glasses will only lead to a higher chance of injuries. Once you have assessed all vectors through which an employee can get injured, set the necessary safety guidelines.
You can also hire a team of employees to offer their thoughts on what might be the leading causes of vision-related injuries. Once you are sure to have covered all the safety loopholes, enforce the guidelines and set repercussions for failing to follow them.
It is one thing to invest in state-of-the-art eye protection equipment and another to actually have your employees use them. For a complacent employee who has done their work for long without this equipment, they may seem like nothing more than auxiliary devices. When providing items such as eye care glasses, be sure to inform employees on the dangers that not using them exposes them to.
Training shouldn’t be a one-time thing, and it should also incorporate first aid training. While you might have to retrain them through short training sessions, new employees should also be oriented with the same eye care and protection strategies. In case an employee has pre-existing eyesight problems, they should at least use prescription glasses or contact lenses.
Be Proactive in Preparing for Emergencies
When accidents occur in the workplace, every second counts, and could either mean an employee losing their eyesight or facing serious injuries. As such, having eyewash stations is a necessity, especially if your company typically deals with chemicals. Additionally, you should ensure that all employees can find clear instructions on a board close to the eyewash centers.
Despite having trained them, in cases of emergency, such a step can be crucial in the success of first aid attempts. Also, ensure that those with advanced training know that they have a key role to play in fighting such injuries, especially when the injury is beyond the basic procedures.
Inform Workers on Workplace Safety Standards and any Updates
It only takes a slight mistake for an employee to get their eyes injured while working. As such, you should keep on informing them about the various best practices for protecting their eyes. For instance, warn them against taking off their safety glasses before removing any debris from their clothes.
You should at least have a zero tolerance for injuries, and any non-isolated cases of eye injury should be dealt with promptly. In case of any injury, the top officials should investigate the root cause to reduce the chances of future injuries.
A simple injury in the workplace could spark losses for your organization in the line of reputational, financial and employee losses. All these can be avoided by employing the right safety techniques. Consider the eye safety tips above for a healthy workforce.