Many Minnesota occupations present workers with hazards to their eye health. To promote better eye protection, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has initiated a public campaign to educate people about eye injuries at work and preventative safety.

It has been estimated that about 2,000 workers across the country sustain eye injuries on a daily basis that require medical attention. This comes at a considerable cost in terms of lost productivity and compensation. People employed in construction, manufacturing and mining face the highest risks for eye injuries. These three industries produce about 40 percent of reported workplace eye injuries. Up to 90 percent of these injuries could be avoided by the use of eye protection that meets standards from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the American National Standards Institute.

Workers in office environments experience eye problems as well. Long periods of time spent looking at computer screens or squinting at small fonts could strain people’s eyes. This could lead to headaches and fatigue. People looking at screens tend to blink half as often as normal, which leads to eye dryness. Office workers can reduce eye strain by placing a computer screen 25 inches away from their eyes and taking breaks from looking at computers.

These types of workplace injuries should be covered by workers’ compensation, and most Minnesota employers are required to have appropriate insurance coverage. Benefits payable thereunder could include reimbursement of medical expenses and partial wage replacement. In many cases, an attorney could be of assistance to an injured worker with the preparation and submission of the required claim documentation.