How prevalent is eye injury in the JanSan industry? The good news is other industries have a higher incidence rate, however according to the last report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 1,800 eye injuries in the maintenance, repair, and cleaning industries each year.
The typical eye injury is the result of foreign materials abrading the eye, such as dirt particles, splinters and chemicals.
OSHA reports that a large percentage of eye injuries are caused by direct contact with chemicals. These injuries result from either the negligence of wearing eye protection or an inappropriate choice of personal protective equipment.
As an example, if safety glasses are worn instead of full goggles, it may allow a chemical substance to enter from around or under protective eye equipment. Serious and irreversible damage can occur when chemical substances contact the eyes in the form of splash, mists, vapors, or fumes.
If a company is found in violation of section 29 CFR 1910.133, which addresses safety glasses and personal protective gear, it can face some hefty fines.
The maximum penalty OSHA can assess is $7,000 for each serious violation and $70,000 for a repeated or willful violation. Each is detailed below:
Other Than Serious Violation – A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm. ($7,000 for each violation is discretionary.)
A Serious Violation is one where a violation would present substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard. (mandatory penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation).
Willful Violation is a violation that the employer knowingly commits or commits with plain indifference to the law. The employer either knows that what he or she is doing constitutes a violation, or is aware that a hazardous condition existed and made no reasonable effort to eliminate it. (minimum penalty of $5,000 for each violation up to $70,000)
Repeat Violation – A violation of any standard, regulation, rule, or order where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation can bring a fine of up to $70,000 for each such violation.
The good news is with the small investment in goggles for employees, you can save thousands in OSHA penalties.
> Read OSHA’s site addressing penalties (under Inspections)
> View our personal protective safety glasses and goggles