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Workers' compensation: BLS says 1 eye injury every 45 seconds

Employers in all industries in New York and elsewhere are responsible for the health and safety of employees. However, almost two-thirds of workers fail to use protective eyewear in jobs that pose eye injury risks, including the possibility of blindness, because it is optional and not enforced by employers. This is what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says after conducting a study. Employees who suffer injuries at work are typically covered by workers' compensation benefits.

According to the survey, one occupational eye injury occurs approximately every 45 seconds. That calculation followed indications that about 2,000 such injuries occur in workplaces every day -- over 700,000 per year. Safety authorities say most eye injuries can be prevented by wearing appropriate protective equipment -- and supplying it is the responsibility of employers, but so is monitoring the use of such protection.

Reportedly, falling and flying objects cause most eye injuries, and these objects are often the size of pinheads or even smaller. These tiny particles can be metal slivers, bits of wood chips and sand or dust that are ejected from power tools, falling from above or blown by the wind. Eyes also need protection from exposure to steam, chemicals, grease, splashing harmful fluids, UV radiation produced by welding and more.

New York workers who are not provided with proper eye protection clearly have an increased risk of eye injuries. Medical expenses can be overwhelming, particularly if ongoing treatment is required. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance system covers occupational eye injuries. Benefits claims can lead to the payment of all medical bills along with wage replacement packages for those whose injuries caused temporary disability. Experienced legal counsel can assist with the claims process.

Source: vsp.com, "How to Prevent Eye Injuries in a Hazardous Workplace", Accessed on April 20, 2018

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