Responding to alarming reports that eye injuries are the number one preventable reported injury (15 percent of total injuries in 2002) on the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (CA/T) in Boston, the New England Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund (NELHSF) initiated an eye safety program this year for LIUNA members working on the project.

According to LIUNA General Secretary and New England Regional Manager Armand E. Sabitoni, “Industry studies indicate that as many as 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable. With so many eye injuries on this project, it was evident that the Fund should intervene to reduce their frequency.”

An integral component of the ongoing program, Education, Awareness and Enforcement Compliance, is an eye injury study that the NELHSF conducted earlier this year through a partnership with UVEX, the protective eyewear division of Bacou-Dalloz, USA. Together, the two organizations formed a survey team to determine the causes for the significant increase of reported eye injuries.

NELHSF staff and UVEX safety representatives first met with CA/T project site safety managers to gain insight on the contractors’ view of the injury problem. Subsequently, the survey team conducted observational research and interviews with over 200 workers during a five-week period. The site locations and contractors were chosen to reflect a valid representation of the various tasks performed on the project.