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Beware of eye injury hazards at work

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Occupational eye injuries are a common yet preventable issue in various workplaces. These injuries can significantly affect the affected individual’s health and livelihood.

The effects of a work-related eye injury can range from minor irritations to trauma that can result in permanent vision loss. All workers and their employers should be aware of the possible hazards to minimize the risks they pose.

Common occupational eye injuries

Eye injuries at work can occur in various forms, depending on the nature of the job and the hazards that are present. Some common types of occupational eye injuries include the following:

  • Foreign objects or debris: Small particles such as dust, metal slivers or wood chips can cause eye injuries. These can result from grinding, sawing or other activities that generate airborne particles.
  • Chemical burns: Exposure to harmful substances or chemical splashes can cause burns to the eyes and surrounding facial area, leading to pain and potential vision impairment.
  • Blunt force trauma: In industries involving heavy machinery or physical labor, objects can strike the eye, causing bruising, lacerations or even fractures of the bone around the eye.

Any eye injury requires urgent medical attention. These injuries should also be reported to the appropriate individuals in the workplace because the injured worker will likely need coverage from workers’ compensation.

Preventative measures

Prevention is always better than treatment, particularly when it comes to eye injuries. Employers can implement safety measures to reduce the risk of such injuries. These include:

  • Providing and enforcing appropriate eye protection, like safety glasses, goggles or face shields, suited to the specific task
  • Ensuring that workers are trained in proper safety procedures, including handling and storing hazardous substances
  • Maintaining a clean and organized work environment to minimize the risk of accidents

Occupational eye injuries can seriously affect a person’s job performance and overall quality of life. Employers and employees should prioritize workplace eye safety to prevent these harmful incidents. Injured workers should learn about their right to workers’ compensation so they aren’t left to bear the financial burden of the incident.