SOURCE: Vision Care Holdings

March 24, 2008 09:00 ET

70,000 Eye-Related Injuries on the Job Each Year Cost American Business Owners $450 Billion

Information and Tips on Keeping Eyes Safe at Work Is Part of National Workplace Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month in March

LAKE WORTH, FL--(Marketwire - March 24, 2008) - March is Workplace Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month, and Eyeglass World together with The LASIK Vision Institute offers consumers and employers information and tips for reducing the number of eye-related injuries in the workplace.

People think to protect their heads with helmets or hardhats, and their clothes with smocks and aprons, but a surprisingly high percentage of people don't think to put on the proper protective eyewear in hazardous work conditions. This has resulted in an estimated 70,000 on-the-job eye-related injuries every year costing American business upwards of $450 billion annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports the main causes of eye injuries in the workplace for most companies can be tied to the following six culprits:

--  Flying objects are the leading cause of eye injuries in American
    workplaces.  Flying or falling objects or sparks striking the eye causes
    well over half of eye accidents.  A significant number of those objects are
    smaller than a pinhead.
    
--  Contact with chemicals causes approximately 20 percent of eye
    injuries.
    
--  Improper equipment operation is responsible for more than 30 percent
    of eye-related injuries.
    
--  Poor choice of eyewear results in a significant number of injuries.
    Although injured workers are often wearing eye protection, they're not
    wearing the right kind.
    
--  Improper fit has contributed to 94 percent of the injuries to workers
    wearing eye protection when objects or chemicals go around or under the
    protector.
    
--  Lack of awareness and simple ignorance of the risks and the required
    protection is responsible for many workplace eye injuries.  Many injured
    workers, when asked after an accident, report that they didn't realize eye
    protection was necessary in the situation.
    

Once the dangers have been identified, employers need to work with their employees who are most at risk. Employers can use the following tips to ensure safety by providing excellent eye safety measures and more easily meet the Occupational Safety Health Administration's (OSHA) standards that require employers to provide their workers with the appropriate eye protection:

--  Require the usage of eye protection.  In most jurisdictions protective
    eyewear is now required by workplace safety organizations such as OSHA.
    Some industries are constantly exposed to eye hazards where workers should
    be protected from these perils at all times, and required to wear safety-
    rated eye protection such as goggles, face shield, helmet visors,
    protective eyeglasses and the like.
    
--  Provide the highest quality protection gear.  Polycarbonate lenses,
    which are found in high-end protective eyewear, provide the best extreme
    eye protection.
    
--  Protective eyewear should be customizable and adjustable allowing
    employees to fit eyewear to their own faces.  Protective eyewear that fails
    to do this will be cause for employees to remove their eyewear to relieve
    discomfort.
    
--  Keep employees' protective eyewear clean.  Inspect them regularly for
    cracks, breakages, loose frames or other deficiencies.
    
--  Conduct regular safety seminars to remind the workers that most
    industrial accidents, eye-related or not, occur because of carelessness
    more than anything else.
    
--  Employ a person on-staff that can provide immediate clinical aid.
    Whether a fulltime doctor or a nurse, providing expert care for the workers
    will go a long, long way in preventing long term eye injuries.
    
--  Conduct regular assessments of the workplace to determine if current
    eye protection measures are sufficient and if there have been changes in
    the work environment that necessitate new eye protection measures to be
    implemented.
    

The LASIK Vision Institute provides laser vision correction services through the company's 31 upscale laser correction centers located in 23 states across the country. The LASIK Vision Institute uses CustomVue by VISX Technology, the latest state-of-the-art FDA-approved laser technology, in each of its centers. Procedures are performed by experienced independent eye surgeons who have collectively completed more than 650,000 eye surgeries. Pre and postoperative visits, along with patient counseling, are available at all locations. Unlike other eye surgery providers, The LASIK Vision Institute owns its laser equipment and can offer consumers pricing significantly below other providers while maintaining a high standard of service from the best quality physicians. More information is available at www.lasikvisioninstitute.com.

Eyeglass World is a leading retailer of eyewear, offering consumers the best quality, most current and fashionable brand names, finest service and a large selection in a professional superstore environment. Eyeglass World has 66 stores in 23 states across the country that offer a wide selection of more than 2,000 name brand frames from top designers such as Nike, Gucci, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. In many locations, Eyeglass World's on-site labs can manufacture any prescription in as fast as one hour. Eyeglass World also offers top brands of contact lenses, such as ACUVUE and CIBA Vision, as well as an assortment of sunglasses. As one of the country's largest eyewear retailers, Eyeglass World has strong buying power that enables it to offer consumers the best quality eyewear at great prices. Eyeglass World accepts most insurance plans, with frequent promotions making vision care even more affordable. More information is available at www.eyeglassworld.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Steve Honig
    The Honig Company, Inc.
    818-986-4300
    Email Contact