According to an infosheet recently created by OSHA, improperly maintained eyewash stations could lead to worker injuries. Specifically, organisms such as Acanthamoeba, Pseudomonas, and Legionella can grow and expand their presence in dirty water or water that is allowed to stagnate. When they enter the body through the eye, the skin or the nose, they can create an increase in the risk of infection to exposed workers.
If a worker has recently suffered from Lupus, cancer or another disease, he or she may suffer from a weakened immune system. This may make it even more likely for organisms to invade the body and cause an infection. Those who have cuts or other injuries near the eye may also be more susceptible to further injury or illness. Typically, eyewash stations are provided in workplaces where employees are exposed to corrosive chemicals or in research facilities where harmful substances may splash into a person’s eyes.
Employers can increase the odds that an eyewash station will be effective by following the maintenance guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Plumbed systems should be flushed at least once a week to make sure that water is not allowed to stagnate. Finally, any solution used in eyewash stations should be able to clean the eye without causing any damage.
Those who sustain a workplace injury through no fault of their own may decide to consult with a lawyer. An attorney might be able to determine what type of benefits the injured person may be entitled to. For instance, it may be possible to win permanent workers compensation benefits if a worker is unable to return to work. Temporary benefits may be provided to those who are planning to return to work and may help pay medical bills and other costs related to the injury.