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Worker injury may be due to fogging in safety glasses

As New Jersey residents may know, workplace eye injuries are common, with about 2,000 requiring medical care daily, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Eye injuries result in loss of eyesight in up to two out of ten workers.

While it is thought that the use of safety glasses might significantly reduce eye injuries in the workplace, some business places only require either sporadic use of safety glasses or none at all. In addition, some workers do not wish to wear safety glasses because of steam and fog that interfere with their vision while working.

One reason for non-compliance by workers was addressed in an accident study. The report said workers complained that safety glasses tended to fog up and contributed to accidents and non-compliance. About two-thirds of the workers who responded to the survey stated they would wear safety glasses if fogging was prevented. Steam and heat contribute to fogging. If the worker continues to work wearing fogged eyewear, it may cause obscured vision and contribute to an accident. On the other hand, removing the eyewear is also dangerous.

Suggestions presented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration include educating workers on how to deal with fogged eyewear. Using eyewear with anti-fog lenses or treated to resist fogging may reduce the incidence of accidents. In addition, the employer might provide a different type of frame for workers that is less likely to fog.

A person who is injured on the job may require medical attention and be unable to return to work for a prolonged period. Such losses may be partially covered by workers' compensation benefits. Speaking to an attorney may be helpful for an injured worker who is preparing the required claim.

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