The Safety InSights Blog from Sperian’s Culture of Safety website has a great article explaining the true cost of an eye injury. They go on to explain what it means for the person who is directly affected and the costs the employer will directly and indirectly be responsible for.
“There is no debate that our eyesight is invaluable: vision is a primary way humans experience the world, and without it, many jobs would prove impossible. The government has recognized the value of sight by passing legislation for workplace eye safety, and employers institute safety measures of their own to protect workers’ vision. While these combined efforts have had a positive impact on reducing workplace eye injuries, the statistics prove there is still much room for improvement.
According to Prevent Blindness America, workers experience more than 700,000 eye injuries per year, 36,000 of which require time off from work. Perhaps most surprising, though, is that 90 percent of those injuries are preventable by wearing the proper safety eyewear. That means that every day of the week an average of nearly 90 workers experience a serious — yet preventable — eye injury that requires time off.
The cost of an eye injury is immeasurable to a worker who partially or completely loses his or her sight and includes a diminished quality of life, lost wages and medical expenses. What may not be as obvious, though, are the staggering costs a company pays as a result of eye injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that workplace eye injuries cost employers more than $934 million in direct and indirect costs each year. By understanding the full scope of such expenses to a company, employers can more clearly see how a relatively small investment in high-performing eye protection can equal significant savings to their bottom lines.”