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Protecting construction workers from eye injuries

Eye injuries can happen to people who are engaged in a variety of occupations, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that construction is the second most dangerous job for these types of injuries. In Texas, working in the summer is especially dangerous because of environmental factors such as high winds, humidity, heat, and UV rays from sunlight, all of which contribute to eye injuries. Since every construction site is different and has its own hazards, there is no specific standard for eye protection.

There are some national and employer-based safety standards that managers use as guides when they outfit construction workers with protective gear. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that construction workers need to be given proper safety eyewear to protect their eyes from hazards such as sunlight and debris. Many workplaces have stricter guidelines in an effort to protect their employees, but others fall short.

According to many safety professionals, eye injuries can almost always be prevented if workers wear the correct safety eye wear. Safety eye wear should go beyond protecting workers from foreign bodies such as nails, chips and other debris, which can result in injuries causing short-term or long-term vision loss. It should also be designed to reduce fog, which can temporarily blind workers, leaving them open to falling, slipping and other hazards. Workers may also be at risk when they remove their eye wear to wipe away the fog, exposing them to debris-related injuries. Safety eye wear should block glare from both artificial and natural lights in order to prevent long-term vision loss and cataracts.

People who have suffered eye injuries in an on-the-job accident may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can include provision of necessary medical care and treatment as well as a replacement of a portion of wages lost due to an inability to work during the recovery period. An attorney can often be of assistance to an injured worker in the preparation and filing of a claim.

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