The human eye is one of the most vital – and vulnerable – parts of the body. Vision is our dominant sense, one that we depend on at a very basic level and one that takes up a large percentage of our brain’s functional capacity. For those who have suffered a serious eye injury, the results can be disastrous, leading to impairment, intense pain and diminished work ability, to name just a few consequences.
A great number of eye injuries occur in the workplace. In fact, every day, about 2,000 American workers suffer eye injuries that require medical treatment. Eye injuries can happen to workers in any sector, but they are particularly common in certain industries. If you or a loved one has suffered an eye injury on-the-job, contact the New York workplace eye injury attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC. We will help you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Let’s take a look at how eye injuries occur in the workplace and what kind of impact they have on workers.
How Workplace Eye Injuries Happen
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that eye injuries cost over $300 million dollars in productivity losses, medical expenses and workers’ compensation every year. OSHA says that there are specific standards for eye protection that should be used “to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards.”
Workers in construction, manufacturing, longshoring, radiology and forestry are just a few types of employees who should be provided with eye protection. Injuries to the eyes might be due to:
- Flying debris, such as pieces of metal or glass
- Chemical exposure
- Radiation exposure
- Excessive wind
- Computer screens.
The Consequences of Eye Injuries
An injury to the eye can lead to problems that range from blurry vision to permanent blindness. Here are some examples of what can happen to workers following an eye injury:
- Blurry or impaired vision (temporary or permanent)
- Cataracts (especially in radiation)
- Scratched eyes
- Bleeding eyes
- Traumatic iritis (inflammation of certain parts of the eye)
- Hyphemas (bleeding of the anterior chamber)
- Orbital blowout fractures (breaks in the bones surrounding the eyes).
In addition to the physical consequences of an eye injury, workers can face pain, suffering, impairment of daily functions, massive loss in quality of life, loss of income, and loss of work capacity.
Preventing Eye Injuries in the Workplace
The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that wearing eye protection would prevent up to 90 percent of eye injuries. All workers who face eye hazards should be provided with protective eyewear and training to avoid the possibility of an eye injury. The National Eye Institute provides a list to help employers and workers more easily address eye safety in the workplace. Here are a few of their suggestions:
- Assess the workplace for eye hazards.
- Remove these hazards if at all possible.
- Provide eye protection to workers.
- Make wearing eye protection a requirement for workers who face workplace eye hazards.
- Make sure the eyewear is effective and fits the worker, and make sure they know how to use the protective equipment.
- Protect any bystanders or non-workers from hazards through the use of protective barriers.
- Identify the presence of hazards through the use of caution flags.
- Provide workers or bystanders with sterile eyewash stations near hazardous areas.
- Train workers in first-aid techniques and provide access to first-aid kits and materials.
Have You Suffered an Eye Injury On the Job?
Workers have the right to a safe workplace, and most have the right to receive compensation for the injuries they have suffered while at work. However, as we’ve seen, workplace injuries happen every day, and it is not uncommon for workers to find the compensation offered by their employers to be significantly less than they deserve. This is why having an experienced workplace injury attorney on your side can be incredibly helpful. Your attorney will represent your best interests to make sure you receive adequate compensation.
Contact the New York workplace eye injury attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC to learn more about your options after an on-the-job accident. We will investigate your case and be a fierce advocate for your cause. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation of your case.