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Keeping Louisiana employees protected from eye hazards

Each day, approximately 2,000 employees suffer an occupational eye injury that necessitates medical attention. Of these injuries, 10 to 20 percent result in permanent or temporary vision loss, according to findings by the non-profit group Prevent Blindness. Thus, it is vital that employees exposed to eye hazards wear proper eye protection.

On-the-job eye injuries typically occur when dangerous liquids or molten metals splash into an employee's face. In other cases, workers are struck with a sharp material. Exposure to poisonous vapors or gas can also cause serious eye injuries.

In order to keep employees safe from possible eye injuries, employers should ensure each worker has access to personal protective eye equipment, such as safety glasses, faceshields and goggles. The equipment should also be appropriate for the task they are performing. Eye hazard assessment tests can be beneficial to employers with this matter. Many companies hire a trained professional to make sure that eye protection gear properly fits each employee. It is also a good idea that employers remove existing workplace hazards prior to employees starting their shifts and ensure that work screens, protective guards or other engineering controls are installed on equipment.

Employers might further consider requiring their employees to take vision tests, safety training classes and eye protection programs. It is also an employer's responsibility to replace or repair any damaged eyewear and install eyewash stations in work areas. Every employee should be trained how to administer first aid for co-workers who suffer an eye injury as well.

Employees who need medical attention because they were hurt on the job can apply for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits generally cover medical expenses and a certain amount of lost wages.

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