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  • Writer's pictureJohn Larrimer

How Do Most Eye Injuries Happen at Work? How Does One Prevent Them?

Workers are often focused on meeting deadlines, organizing projects, completing tasks, and getting the job done. However, they also have to focus on their eye safety.

Eye injuries are a common issue at work. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) claims that about 2,000 people in the US will sustain an eye injury every day.

While some are minor, it's possible to experience serious eye injuries, which will require multiple days off work. Likewise, the victim might suffer from permanent vision loss. OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) claims that thousands get blinded every year because of common workplace eye injuries.

Likewise, workers can be exposed to various diseases through the eyes because they have permeable membranes to help substances pass through. The goal is to promote workplace safety whenever possible and understand that some people could be at an increased risk of these issues.

Sometimes, worker negligence is the cause, but someone else might be to blame for the eye injury. Therefore, they might want to speak to a workers compensation law firm at Larrimer & Larrimer after seeking professional medical help in Columbus, OH.

Causes of Workplace Eye Injuries

Causes of Workplace Eye Injuries

There could be various causes of eye injuries in the workplace, such as:

  • Chemical Splashes - When one works around or with chemicals, they could splash into the eyes and face, causing burns. Overall, chemical burns could be serious or lead to permanent damage or blindness.

  • Radiation Exposure - Sometimes, jobs involve radiation, and the exposure to the eye might lead to permanent damage or burns if precautions aren't taken.

  • Blood Splashes - First responders, medical workers, and police officers who get called in for blunt force trauma and other issues might have to deal with blood. If the blood splashes into the eyes, it could lead to a disease, such as staph infections, HIV, or hepatitis.

  • Foreign Objects - Flying metal shavings, wood, and other debris on the hands or in the air could come into contact with the eye. These are some of the most common eye injuries at work, which can cause scratching or even corneal abrasions. Common work activities that might lead to foreign objects within the eye include chipping, drilling, masonry work, sawing, woodworking, and sanding.

  • Impact Injuries - Construction and industrial worksites are common for workplace injuries to the eye. They can occur when using specific tools, including lawn equipment, power tools, and welding equipment.

Preventing Workplace Eye Injuries

The AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) claims that 90 percent of workplace injuries involving the eyes could have been prevented with protective eyewear. Larrimer & Larrimer can explain how to qualify for low vision disability benefits. Several factors will determine what's appropriate for workers, such as the type of hazards they might encounter. Protective eyewear includes:

  • Goggles - Appropriate eye protection, such as goggles, will be useful when working around or with chemicals.

  • Welding Helmets - People who deal with fiber optics might require a welding helmet.

  • Face Shields - Face shields are an excellent safety eyewear option that will protect one from splashes and are generally used in hospital settings to prevent the spread of infectious disease. However, these alone won't protect from impact injuries that could cause severe trauma, so other eye protection, such as safety glasses, is crucial.

  • Safety Glasses - These are a great choice when dealing with flying dust and debris. They will resist impact and should include side protection to protect from all angles.

Protective eyewear should be tested to ensure its scratch and impact resistance. Likewise, it must meet the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards. Goggles and safety glasses must have lenses made of polycarbonate or another impact-resistant material.

Prescription sunglasses and eyeglasses aren't enough. While a worker should wear corrective lenses, they will also require goggles or safety glasses that fit over them to protect from traumatic splashes and injury. Many workers find that traditional eyeglasses and sunglasses will shatter during an accident, causing more harm.

Eye Injury Prevention Tips

The best way to avoid eye injuries is to eliminate hazards. However, it's also crucial to wear appropriate protective eyewear, which will prevent eye injuries. Here are a few other ways to protect the eyes:

Proper Eye Protection

Ensure that the eye protection fits correctly. Ill-fitting safety glasses and goggles won't offer the full benefit or prevent injury. Typically, safety eyewear should be custom-designed or adjustable to provide full coverage.

Focus on Peripheral Vision

It's crucial to ensure the eye protection is comfortable and allows the worker to see in their peripheral vision. If the safety eyewear is tight, workers often ignore it and do not wear it when they must.

Safety Hazard Assessment

Know the safety hazards presented on the job. Assess the work environment to determine the risks and take precautions. If an employer refuses to provide eye protection, the worker should bring their own or request it to be delivered to protect their eye health.

Emergency Eye Flush Stations

When one works around or with chemicals, they need to know where the emergency eye flush stations are. Ask if necessary! When a chemical splash occurs, it's crucial to flush the eye for 15 minutes as soon as possible and get medical attention.

Recognizing Work-related Eye Injuries

Recognizing that an eye injury has occurred is crucial. It's best not to treat the serious injury alone; get medical treatment as soon as possible.

Signs of an eye injury are often obvious, but they could be subtle or mild. It's best to see the ophthalmologist if one notices these signs:

  • Blurred and cloudy vision

  • Pain

  • Unusual pupil size

  • Torn eyelid

  • A feeling of something being stuck in the eye

Sustaining an eye injury at work requires medical care. Don't touch or rub the eye or remove objects. It's crucial to get to the emergency room quickly.

When chemical burns are present, flush the eye with water for 15 minutes and get emergency assistance. Eye safety is crucial!

When to Hire a Lawyer for Workplace Eye Injuries

When to Hire a Lawyer for Workplace Eye Injuries

After suffering from an eye injury, the important thing is to get medical treatment immediately. Likewise, it's wise to avoid potential hazards and ensure the company is doing its part. If someone was negligent, which led to the workplace accident, it's best to call Larrimer & Larrimer, located in Columbus, Ohio. Dial (614) 221-7548 for a free consultation.

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