World of Safety: Study Finds Workers Don’t Always Learn from Previous Eye Injuries
It’s not news that about three out of every five workers who suffer eye injuries either were not using protective eyewear or weren’t using the right kind for the task they were performing.
However, a new study from the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) suggests that a significant percentage of workers who have suffered previous eye injuries don’t seem to learn from their mistakes.
CERA looked at 100 patients who had been treated for work-related eye injuries and found that 25 percent had suffered a previous eye injury related to metal fragments entering their eyes, yet more than half who suffered subsequent eye injuries still had not been using eye protection.
The injuries were commonly caused by high-velocity impact machining, such as metal grinding, welding, repair work and drilling.
“This study has highlighted the importance of looking into whether these injuries are due to the attitude of the individuals, lack of appropriate safety apparatus, individuals not being adequately trained in occupational safety or workplace management issues such as the company not complying with safety standards,” says Rasik Vajpayee, a professor of ophthalmology and eye surgeon who led the study.
“A second issue is the design of the safety eyewear, as 45 per cent of the injuries occurred while some form of eye protection was worn,” he says. “The failure of the safety eyewear may have been due to the presence of gaps between the eyewear and the subject’s face, the pattern of particle emissions, or the alignment of the work operation.”
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