Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Improving employee protective equipment

Employees in Maryland might benefit from understanding more about how compliance and protection can be improved by using better fitting safety eyewear. Government data shows that the demographics of the U.S. labor force are changing significantly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women accounted for 47 of the American workforce during 2010, and are expected to total 51 percent by 2018. As the workplace becomes more diversified, the protection attire and equipment used may need to be redesigned as well.

The changes to personal protection equipment are primarily needed for safety eyewear and other items that fit onto the face in order to work properly for different ethnicities. Other pieces of attire that were designed with traditional sizing, such as boots, clothes and gloves, may not need to be replaced.

Statistics indicate that over 700,000 eye injuries occur at the workplace every year. Researchers discovered that approximately 90 percent of the eye injuries that occur are preventable by using protection equipment that fits properly. Ill-fitting eyewear may cause employees to reduce production, remove the eyewear or become distracted while working. Workers with poor-fitting eyewear may also be subjected to soreness, fogging and slippage that allows debris to reach the eyes.

Employees who suffer injuries from workplace accidents may benefit from consulting a lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to investigate the complaint and help determine whether or not a non-employer third party can be found culpable for the injury. In such an instance, it may be possible to pursue a personal injury action while also filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety, "Improving Safety Eyewear Fit for Better Protection and Compliance", David Iannelli, Feb. 1, 2015

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