Nov 2023

Modernized Goggles Revolutionize Workplace Eye Protection

A male worker using equipment in a warehouse wears safety googles and other PPE to avoid injury.

Advancements in technology have made goggles a popular choice for workplace eye protection for many employees, according to a recent Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) article about eye protection and work-related eye injuries.

“Today’s modernized safety goggles provide a tighter, sealed fit and are ideal for workers who may find themselves in environments that produce flying debris and projectiles that could potentially be harmful to the users’ eyes,” the OHS article states.

These advancements in goggle technology are critical. That’s because work-related eye injuries can result in partial or permanent vision loss. Our workers’ compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl in Massachusetts and Rhode Island know because we have helped many injured workers obtain the benefits they rightfully deserve after sustaining a work-related eye injury.

Improved safety goggles provide ‘additional protection’

In recent years, employees who need eyewear protection for their jobs have chosen to wear safety goggles instead of safety glasses, according to the OHS article.

“While safety goggles are certainly not a new concept, recent innovations aim to make them more comfortable to wear, which is fueling category growth as more workers shift to the additional protection that goggles provide,” OHS reports.

The article adds, “Beyond the framework of meeting and even exceeding applicable safety standards, we are seeing new goggle designs in the market that focus on improved fit, comfort, and customization features to cater to a diverse range of users.”

Work-related eye injuries—by the numbers

Protective goggles serve an important purpose. They help protect people from sustaining work-related eye injuries and vision loss. Unfortunately, on-the-job eye injuries still occur at an alarming rate. According to the most recent workplace injury statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 18,510 workers sustained eye injuries in 2020 nationwide. That’s roughly 1.7 injuries for every 10,000 full-time workers.

Common causes of work-related eye injuries

According to the BLS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common causes of work-related eye injuries are:

  • Coming into contact with objects or equipment – 11,980 work-related eye injuries in 2020, according to the BLS.
  • Exposure to harmful substances – 4,830 work-related eye injuries in 2020.
  • Objects scraping or scratching an eye – According to the CDC, small particles such as dust, cement chips, and wood slivers often cause work-related eye injuries.
  • Penetrating objects – Nails, staples, and wood slivers can penetrate an eye and cause a severe injury, according to the CDC.
  • Chemical burns – Industrial chemicals and cleaning products often cause eye injuries and vision loss, according to the CDC.

Employers must provide eye protection

If employees work in an environment where eye injuries are possible, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide eye protection to all employees. These rules are defined in OSHA Standard 1926.102, which focuses on personal protective equipment for face and eye protection.

Unfortunately, not every employer follows these rules. That’s why violations of OSHA Standard 1926.102 recently made the top 10 list of OSHA workplace safety violations for fiscal year 2023, which ended Sept. 30. Specifically, OSHA issued 2,074 violations for failing to provide employees with protective face and eye equipment, making this the 9th most common OSHA violation in fiscal year 2023.

Work-related eye injuries can be serious

You might think you don’t need an attorney to help you recover compensation if you sustained an eye injury at work. All you have to do is apply for workers’ compensation benefits, and your employer’s insurance company will take care of everything else, right?

Don’t be so sure. Workers’ compensation claims involving eye injuries or vision loss are often disputed or denied. That’s why if you suffered an eye injury or vision loss at work, you should contact the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl for help.

Our legal team is dedicated to helping injured workers get the support they deserve after a work-related injury or illness. We have years of experience handling complicated workers’ compensation claims in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Find out what we can do for you. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation with our legal team so we can review your case, explain your options, and help you find your way forward after a work-related eye injury.

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