Inappropriate PPE for eyes leads to workers' compensation claims

Various occupations expose California workers to face and eye hazards, and it is the responsibility of their employers to ensure they have appropriate personal protection equipment. However, not all employers prioritize workers' safety, and too many workers' compensation claims follow eye and face injuries. Potential hazards include flying particles, caustic liquids, acid, liquid chemicals, molten metal, chemical vapors, and gases and light radiation.

Federal and state safety standards require employers to add slide-on or clip-on side protection for safety glasses wherever risks of flying objects exist. Employers can get professional help to learn about the different types of protection to provide optimum protection for unique situations for hazards like optical radiation, heat, dust, chemicals and impact. Safety authorities warn that workers might have adequate protection for routine jobs, but non-routine tasks might pose different hazards, and other types of eye and face protection might be necessary.

Employers must not lose sight of the fact that each employee's facial features are unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all in eye protection. Each worker's PPE must be appropriately fitted to provide maximum protection. Prescription glasses do not provide adequate protection, and safety goggles that fit correctly over prescription glasses must be provided. Furthermore, workers must learn when it is safe to remove protective eyewear and how to store and clean them.

Receiving medical care immediately after suffering an eye or facial injury is crucial. The state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system will settle all the medical bills for such injuries, and wage replacement packages will form a part of the compensation for those who cannot return to work for some time. The claims process could be challenging, but an experienced California workers' compensation attorney can provide valuable support and guidance.

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