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OSHA has determined that full compliance will provide improved protection to 1.1 million work establishments with 11.7 million employees, preventing four deaths and saving 712,000 lost work days and 65,000 non-lost work injury cases per year. OSHA estimates the cost to employers from the average lost work time injury is at least $ 4000. OSHA estimates that compliance to the rule will safe firms over $ 150 million annually. Reference 29 CFR Part 1910, Personal Protective Equipment for General Industry.
THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL calculated the societal cost per lost worktime injury at $ 27,000, by factoring in long-term wage losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses and miscellaneous employer costs. Applying this figure to OSHAĺS estimate of lost workday prevented annually, revisions to the rate should save society, (employees, employers and third parties, over $ 1 billion annually.
PREVENT BLINDNESS AMERICA; also known as The National Society to Prevent Blindness estimates that 90% of all workplace eye injuries are preventable. However, nearly 1 million Americans have already lost some degree of sight resulting from an eye injury. Each day more than 1000 workers suffer serious eye injuries.
THE SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRY, OSHA reports that employees in shipyards have had one of the highest rates of injuries of any industry for many years. In 1992, the shipyard industry had an injury rate of 34.2 per 100 full-time employees. In comparison, the annual injury rate for the manufacturing sector of the economy was about 11 per 100 full-time employees.
ACCIDENTS INVOLVING EYE INJURIES
A survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of workers in selected occupations who suffered impact injuries or chemical burns to the eye showed that almost 3 out of 5 were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident.
Of the occupations studied, craft workers (mechanics and repairers, etc.) accounted for 42 percent of the injured workers; operatives, 36 percent; and laborers, 21 percent. Almost 50 percent of the workers were employed in manufacturing and slightly more than 20 percent were in construction.
Of the 1,052 eye accidents studied, nearly seven-tenths resulted from flying or falling objects striking the eye.
Two thirds of the objects were estimated to be traveling at a speed faster than a hand-thrown object when the accident occurred.
Contact with chemicals caused one-fifth of the injuries.
About 40 percent of the injured workers were wearing some form of eye protection at the time of the accident.
Eyeglasses with no sideshields were the most prevalent type reported, worn by 42 percent of those workers.
Workers wearing glasses with full-cup or flat-fold sideshields accounted for 22 and 13 percent respectively of those wearing eye protection.
More than 70 percent of the workers believed that they were wearing industrial safety glasses. When queried for verification, 38 percent reported no special markings on the lens and 44 percent didnĺt know whether the lens was labeled. (trade marked).
94 percent of the injuries to those wearing eye protection resulted from objects (or caustics) going around or under the protector. Only 13 workers injured while wearing eye protection reported breakage. These cases usually resulted in injuries inflicted, at least in part, by shattered lenses or frames.
Four workers were injured when the frames of their glasses were pushed into the eye area.
More than 50 percent of those injured while wearing eye protection were of the opinion that the protection had minimized their injuries.
Nearly 50 percent of the workers also felt that another type of protection could have prevented or reduced the injuries received.
When ask to explain why they were not wearing eye protection at the time of the accident, the unprotected workers most frequently indicated that eye protection was not normally used or practical in their type of work, or they felt it was not needed for the task being performed.
Six percent had removed their eye protectors before the accident.
Company policy requiring eye protection for certain types of work or at specific job locations was reported by two-thirds of the workers surveyed.
More than twenty percent indicated that the policy was implemented after their accident had occurred.
REFERENCE BLS REPORT 597
Patent No.5,748,278,6,393,609 B1 and others