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Deb Handrahan, AIC-MAug 15, 20222 min read

Do Not Take Eye Injuries Lightly

On average NHADA WCT receives 100 eye injury claims per year. While most are minor, we have had several very serious eye injuries including loss of vision in one eye over the years. Minor eye injuries cost the Trust on average $43,000 annually. Severe eye injuries cost the Trust hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cost of a severe eye injury to the employee is incalculable.

Some of these injuries can be prevented by using eye protection. It is a very simple solution to a very serious matter. No surprise, the majority of eye injuries are suffered by technicians. Interestingly, most eye injuries are suffered by employees that have been employed by the member for 2 years or less.

The NHADA WCT provides FREE safety glasses in all shapes and sizes, including goggles for our members to distribute to their employees; there is no excuse not to use them. Please take advantage of NHADA WCT free eye protection program and keep them in an easily accessible area. Members should require the use of safety glasses and monitor their use and discipline employees who fail to use them.  

Other eye injuries occur even if the employee is wearing eye protection. This time of year, when it is hot in the shop and technicians are sweating, metal foreign bodies run with sweat behind safety glasses into the eye.

When the first symptoms of a foreign body in the eye arise, the employee should copiously irrigate the eye at the eyewash station. Eyewash stations are required by OSHA in all service departments and need to be routinely serviced.  If you are using an eyewash station that requires a solution make sure the eyewash station is changed according to the instructions on the packaging.  NHADA WCT provides FREE solution to our members for gravity-fed eyewash stations.  NHADA WCT Loss Prevention Consultants are here to help our members comply with these requirements.

If the irrigation of the eye does not cure the problem, then medical treatment might be necessary and our Nurse Case Manager Marta Silakka can help facilitate a referral. While some members are programmed to send employees to urgent care centers for most injuries, that may not be the best option for eye injuries. A simple call to Marta will help the employee get the best treatment in a timely fashion. She will most likely start with a referral to an Ophthalmologist, they are located across the State and many will see injured workers on the same day. Delayed treatment might result in a costly emergency room visit that will often result in an ophthalmologist referral anyway.

Contact the NHADA WCT Loss Prevention Department at 603-224-2369 for help choosing and/or maintaining eyewash stations and free eye protection.

Contact Marta Silakka at 603-224-2369 to get a referral for treatment, if necessary.


Deb Handrahan, AIC-M

Member Services Coordinator