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Toledo, Ohio — Feb. 19, 2016 — According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 300,000 Americans visit an emergency room each year due to workplace eye injuries, with nearly half of these accidents occurring in three key industries: manufacturing, mining, and construction.
Eye injuries, which can range in cause from simple eye strain to severe trauma, take a personal and economic toll. Invariably, they result in time off from work and cost American employers more than $300 million annually in lost productivity, medical costs, and workers compensation claims.
"As sobering as these numbers are, what is invariably overlooked is that as many as 90 percent of these injuries are preventable. And the best way to prevent them is to wear appropriate protective eyewear on the job," said Jeffery Gayer, vice president, product development and marketing, Impact Products, LLC.
The company manufactures professional safety products and protective gear for workers in a variety of industries.
According to Gayer, the most common causes of eye injury on the job include:
• Flying objects such as glass, wood, or bits of metal
• Blood and potentially infectious body fluids
• Airborne particulates
• Vapors and fumes
To help workers protect their eyes in a work environment, Gayer recommends the following:
• Educate workers on eye safety — "something that is often overlooked or its importance underappreciated."
• Take precautions to prevent injuries, such as installing screens over equipment that might release a flying object into the eye.
• Wear protective eye gear.
Protective eye gear is so critical in protecting the eyes, yet many workers simply don't — or won't — wear it. Gayer believes many workers find that the protective gear is uncomfortable or interferes with their work. "But a big reason they do not wear eye gear, and this applies to men and women, is they simply do not like the way they look."
While Gayer is not suggesting that protective eye gear must replicate designer eyewear, "it should mirror it."
"We have found that workers who are comfortable with the look and style of protective eye gear are more likely to wear it, even be proud to wear it. This can help prevent thousands of eye injuries every year."
For more information about Impact Products, visit www.impact-products.com.