When an eyewash station has not been properly maintained or filled with proper solution, it can cause serious injury to workers. Those who have recovered from cancer or other illnesses and have weak immune systems may be especially vulnerable. Additionally, those who have cuts or other injuries near the eye may provide an entrance for bacteria and other organisms to enter the body and cause infections.
Eyewash stations are generally required for any worker coming into contact with corrosive chemicals or solutions that have 0.1 percent or greater formaldehyde. To ensure that eyewash stations are properly maintained, plumbed systems should be activated on a weekly basis, per the American National Standards Institute. All other manufacturer’s guidelines should be followed to ensure that the proper solution is used and that the station is being properly maintained.
If water is left untreated or stagnant for a long period of time, it can create conditions for several different types of bacteria to form. Although workers are at risk when these organisms come into contact with their eyes, they can also enter the body when inhaled or make there way into the body through the skin.
Employees who incur workplace injuries or contract an occupational disease may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Most employers in South Carolina are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. The benefits that may be available thereunder can include the furnishing of all necessary medical care and treatment and, in the event that the victim is unable to return to work for a prolonged period, a percentage of the income lost. An attorney can often be of assistance during the process of applying for benefits.