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NEW YORK—Each year, millions of Americans suffer severe eye injuries and even blindness associated with workplace accidents. According to 2023 Bureau of Labor statistics, there were 18,510 eye-related injury or illness cases that resulted in at least one day away from work in 2020, leading to an incidence rate of 1.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers.

This doesn’t only affect the productivity of the business but also has an impact on the bottom line. A report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) finds that workplace eye injuries cost nearly $300 million in lost productivity, worker compensation and medical treatment.

A study exploring the trends in workplace-related eye injuries in the U.S. found that men were the most likely to receive an eye injury at a rate of 77 percent versus 23 percent of women. Young people between the ages of 25 and 44 accounted for 62 percent of eye injuries. People who worked in the service and production industries were also at a greater risk of injury, at 23 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Most eye injuries result from flying shards of metal or glass, tool slips or chemicals. Protective eyewear can prevent 90 percent of workplace-related eye injuries. Education, paired with the right eye protection, is key to reducing the number of injuries. This is why major Rx safety suppliers and laboratories have developed innovative solutions to provide the highest level of eye protection.

Through these partnerships, ECPs can serve the Rx Safety eyewear needs of patients by providing education on protection while performing work-related tasks. Rx Safety suppliers and their partner labs can also be a resource for this specialized area of prescription eyewear.

In this article, Vision Monday highlights some of the top Rx Safety eyewear programs and resources available to eyecare professionals.