This content has been reviewed by Jason D. Stone
Every day, around 2,000 workers suffer work-related eye injuries in the U.S. Though some of those injuries require no days off from work and no medical treatment, many require hospitalization, significant time missed at work, and—in the worst of cases—vision loss.
How Eye Injuries Happen
Eye injuries typically have three general causes:
- objects striking or scraping the eye,
- objects penetrating the eye,
- and chemicals or hot objects burning the eye.
Though no worker is without risk of incurring an eye injury, those who work in manual labor are more likely to suffer them.
Here are a few ways workers and employers can avoid eye injuries in the workplace.
Make Sure Safety Goggles Meet Safety Standards
OSHA requires the use of eye and face protection when workers are exposed to certain hazards. Those hazards include, but are not limited to:
- Molten metal
- Flying objects or projectiles
- Caustic liquids
- Light radiation
Protective face protection and eyewear must meet the certification of the American National Standards Institute. Face protection and eyewear will be clearly marked as such by the manufacturer.
Set Up a Flushing Station at the Worksite
For workers exposed to dangerous chemicals, a flushing station might be needed. According to OSHA guidelines, emergency eyewash stations are required where a worker’s eyes could be exposed to “injurious corrosive materials.” Flushing stations should have nozzles that are at least six inches from any barrier and placed between 33 and 45 inches above the floor.
Wear Sunglasses When Working Outdoors
Just like the skin, eyes can be seriously damaged when exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. If a worker is exposed to the sun for long periods, they should have sunglasses that properly shield their eyes from sun damage. That means wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Make Sure All Workers Are Trained Properly
One of the most important ways to address workplace eye injuries is through prevention, which means adequate training for all employees whose eyes are at risk of any of the hazards mentioned above. Most workplace eye injuries are preventable, but employees must know the risks they’re facing and be equipped with knowledge of how to avoid them.
When Injured, See a Doctor Immediately
Many workplace eye injuries can be successfully treated, but time is often of the essence. Whenever a worker suffers an on-the-job eye injury, they should seek immediate medical treatment. Employers must make sure that a plan is in place to deal with emergency eye injuries.
Injured on the Job? Jason Stone Injury Lawyers Can Help!
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, our Boston workplace injury attorneys have years of experience helping workers who have suffered preventable injuries due to the negligence of their employers or third parties, such as property owners, drivers, or equipment manufacturers.
In many cases, workers can get the compensation they’re entitled to through workers’ compensation benefits. In other cases, they might be able to file third-party liability claims to get the payments they’re entitled to by law. In both scenarios, our lawyers can help.
Let our legal team fight for the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations to help you explore your legal options. Contact us today to get started.