The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that roughly 20,000 individuals sustain some type of eye injury at work every single year. While these injuries range from minor irritation to vision loss and blindness, many injuries are preventable.
If you sustain an injury in an encounter with a workplace eye danger, your employer’s eye wash station may help to stop ongoing damage. Unfortunately, though, for the following reasons, a workplace eye wash station may worsen your injury.
1. Blocked access points
With eye burns from chemical exposure, time is often critical. That is, the longer you wait to flush your eyes, the greater chance you have of developing a life-altering vision-related injury.
Because employees do not usually need to access eye wash stations frequently, your employer may block access points. If there are stacked boxes, unused furniture or other obstacles you must overcome, your eye injury may become significantly more serious.
2. Missing dust guards
Employers should regularly inspect eye wash stations to ensure they are in good condition. Regrettably, dust guards on these stations often go missing.
If your employer’s eye wash station lacks essential dust guards, the water you use to flush your eyes may have contamination. This contamination may enter your eye, potentially causing additional injuries.
3. Incorrect water temperature
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes that water at eye wash stations should be tepid, with a temperature between 60- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit.
If the water in your employer’s station is too cold or too hot, it may complicate your eye injury. While you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for eye damage, you should be sure a problem with the eye wash station does not worsen your injury.