Unlike some other types of injuries, the damage caused by eye injuries can be permanent - and loss of sight can compromise a workers' ability to perform his or her job functions in the future. Such injuries are often caused by flying debris, small tools, particles, and hazardous chemicals.
Eye injuries can manifest in a variety of ways:
- Eye pain and difficulty with vision
- Damage to the eyelid
- Limited movement in impacted eye
- One eye misaligned or sticking out more than the other
- Small pupil size or shape
- Blood in clear part of eye
- Particle stuck in eye or under eyelid
High-risk work environments
According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), roughly 2,000 workers in the U.S. sustain eye injuries on the job each year. Workers who are most susceptible to eye injuries include construction workers, welders, industrial and manufacturing workers, carpenters, electricians, auto mechanics, maintenance workers, plumbers, and miners.
These debilitating injuries are often attributed to:
- Striking/scraping: Workers who aren't wearing protective eye gear may experience dust or small particles in their eyes, resulting in some minor irritation. When larger objects or particles contact the eyes, serious damage and trauma can occur.
- Penetration: Small objects that can pierce the eye can result in permanent damage to eyeball tissue and vision loss.
- Burns: Construction workers often handle hazardous chemicals, such as solvents and cement, and any contact can burn the eyes. Thermal burns to the eyes are common among welders.
Exploring your treatment and recovery options
An eye injury can require extensive time away from work to recover. Some of those impacted may be rendered unable to work again. Should you sustain an eye injury on the job follow these procedures:
- Call 911 immediately if a sharp object, such as glass, metal, or wood, gets stuck in your eye.
- For chemical burns or particles in the eye, immediately wash your eyes with water and avoid rubbing them. Get immediate medical help.
- For blunt trauma to the eye that causes serious damage, apply a cold compress and get immediate medical help.
Your next step should be to consult with an experienced New York City workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. The legal team at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP proudly represents workers who have missed work or became legally blind due to an eye injury. We'll negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf. To learn how we can help, contact our law office today.