Jun 22, 2015

Poor Eye Protection is Not Worth the Risk

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At a recent meeting of the AWANE Board, our Directors reviewed a significant eye injury that could have been prevented had the employee been wearing eye protection. According to the CDC, each day about 2000 U.S. workers have a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. About one third of the injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments and more than 100 of these injuries result in one or more days of lost work.

Poor eye protection is not worth the risk, both to an individual and their employer. Safety is extremely important to us, as we like to remind businesses having a safety committee and other controls in place to review and maintain proper workplace safety is essential to a strong safety culture.

Workplace injuries have multiple effects. Employees are the most directly impacted by injuries, but the employee’s family, his co-workers, and his employer are also involved. The costs to the employee include fear of the unknown, pain, disfigurement, reduced earnings, and eventual loss of sight among others.

The costs to the employer are significant as well. Indirect costs to the employer include the cost to search for and hire a replacement worker, reduced production until the position is filled, and the cost to train the new employee are all borne by the employer. And that’s just some of the employer’s costs.

Direct costs include the impact on the employer’s workers’ compensation program. How will this impact the employer’s costs? In this example, the employer’s annual premium is about $120,000 and this claim is reserved at $116,000. He will see a 10 point increase on his Experience Modification and a five point increase in the ARAP Surcharge…for three years! The increase in direct workers’ compensation costs alone is about $17,000 annually, or $54,000 over three years.

It’s imperative that employers establish and enforce policies that require the use of eye protection where appropriate. The impact of eye injuries can be devastating to the employee and employer alike, and can be prevented in most cases by the proper use of eye protection.

Please read more about eye and face protection, tips for emergency eyewash station compliance, and many more safety and wellness tips on the AWANE blog. The AICC Workers Compensation Group boasts a 99% member retention rate, large up-front discounts, and dividends paid back to the members annually, due to the strong performance of the group. Our members also have unlimited loss control services, to help keep safety at the front of everyone's mind!

Please contact us for more information and join in our success.