Occupational Eye Injury Lawyers
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
Approximately 2,000 American workers require medical treatment for a job-related eye injury each day. Most of these injuries are from small objects or particles abrading or striking the eye. The objects include wood chips, metal slivers, cement chips and dust particles, any of which are ejected by tools and equipment, fall from above the worker, or are swept by wind. Objects such as wood slivers, staples or nails can penetrate the eyeball, resulting in a permanent loss of vision. About one third of occupational eye injuries require treatment in hospital emergency departments and more than 100 of these results in one or more days of lost work.
Other causes of occupational eye injuries include blunt force trauma from large objects striking the face or workers running into them, chemical burns such as those from the splashing of cleaning products or industrial chemicals, and thermal burns such as those from “welder's flash.” Healthcare and laboratory workers, janitors, animal handlers, and those in other occupations are also susceptible to ocular infectious diseases. These can be relatively minor such as conjunctivitis, or can develop into life threatening ones such as B virus infection or HIV.
To prevent eye injuries and ovular infections, employers should utilize engineering controls when and where eye hazards exist. The use of protective eyewear such as goggles, safety glasses, face shields, or full-face respirators should also be required as a matter of policy. The type of eye protection should be suitable to the type of work being performed. Factors to consider include:
- The nature and extent of the hazard
- The circumstances surrounding potential exposure
- The other work equipment that is being used, including other protective equipment
- The type of vision needs of the work being performed
The eye protection should be comfortable and have a custom fit or be adjustable to provide the proper coverage. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers provide workers with adequate eye protection. Specific industries may have additional regulatory requirements.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has found that, regrettably, nearly three out of every five workers injured were either not wearing eye protection or were wearing inadequate eye protection at the time of their accident. It is estimated that 90 percent of occupational eye injuries could be prevented through the use of proper protective eyewear.
If you or a loved one received an eye injury while at work, you may be entitled to compensation beyond that provided by workers' compensation. To protect your rights and be apprised of the options available to you, contact a qualified personal injury or workers' compensation attorney.