Tips to Avoid Eye Injury on the Job

March 19, 2019

Every day in the U.S., around 2,000 workers suffer eye injuries. About 5 percent of those employees cannot go back to work for at least a day. Yet an estimated 90 percent of those injuries are deemed preventable. For that reason, employees and employers must be diligent about acknowledging and reducing eye injury hazards.

Common Types of Work-Related Eye Injuries

Eye injuries typically present themselves in a few forms.

  • Chemical burns – Certain liquids and gases can harm the eye on contact. Chemical burns can be difficult to stop without proper emergency equipment because the chemical reaction may continue unabated.
  • Thermal burns – Many people work around lasers capable of causing thermal, or heat-related, burns to the eye. Lasers can also penetrate the layers of the eye.
  • Struck-by injuries – When an object hits the eye with force, whether it sticks or not, the force can lead to temporary or permanent harm.
  • Scraping injuries – Like struck-by injuries, scraping injuries happen when an object scrapes against the eye. It may remove some of the tissue, or leave a laceration.
  • Penetration – When an object goes into or through the eye, it can lead to permanent damage and blindness.
  • Disease – Communicable diseases can be spread from human to human and wind up in the eyes. Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is highly contagious and leads to irritation in the eye. Although pink eye is curable, other types of diseases that can be spread to the eye are not.

Typical Causes of Workplace Eye Injuries

Without a doubt, every workplace eye injury event is unique. However, some catalysts of eye injuries happen more often than others. Below are some of the circumstances that tend to lead to eye injuries on the job.

  • Airborne dust and debris – Workers exposed to plenty of airborne particulate may begin to complain of itchy, watery, painful eyes. This is because even tiny bits of dust can cause serious irritation and problems.
  • Airborne objects – It is not unheard of for objects as small as shards of glass or metal to fly off equipment or machinery, such as in an industrial environment. Once airborne, these objects can be hazardous.
  • Chemicals – Any employees who handle chemical solutions or compounds, or work near them, may be at risk of a burned eye.
  • Radiation – Exposure to radiation can burn the eye without proper protection between the eye and the item emitting the radioactive rays.
  • Penetrating equipment and tools – Any type of tool, including handheld ones, can hit someone’s eye. For instance, a screwdriver can easily slip, or a machine’s widget may fly back into the face of an employee.

Preventing Workplace Eye Injuries

No employer should put workers at risk of preventable eye injuries. Therefore, it is imperative that strategies like the following be put into place.

  • All worksites should have appropriate ventilation to lessen the likelihood of airborne contaminants.
  • Every employee should undergo regular eye safety training sessions.
  • Protective eyewear such as face shields, goggles, and special glasses should be worn without fail.
  • Protective eyewear and gear should be monitored for fit and comfort on a consistent basis.
  • Safety equipment should be put in place to mitigate eye injury hazards.
  • Operational safety protocols should be taught and known. They should also be evaluated and monitored by team members to head off potential problems.
  • Visual compliance indicators such as posters should be easy to spot. These serve as reminders.

Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Fight for Workers Suffering With Eye Injuries

Ideally, no one should have to experience an eye injury while at work. However, if you have been injured as a result of a defective product, or have been denied a workers’ compensation claim for your eye injury, contact Larry Pitt & Associates, P.COur Reading workers’ compensation lawyers are ready to talk with you about your potential case. Call us at 888-PITT-LAW or use our online contact form to arrange a free initial consultation.

We proudly represent injured workers in Berks CountyBucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery CountyPhiladelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of AbingtonAmblerArdmoreBala CynwydBensalemClifton HeightsCrum Lynne, DarbyDowningtownDoylestownDrexel HillEssington, FolcroftGlenoldenHaverfordHavertownHolmesKutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion StationMorton, Narberth, Norristown, NorwoodPhiladelphiaProspect Park, QuakertownReadingRoxboroughSharon HillUpper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.