The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, reports that workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million annually in lost employee productivity, medical treatment and expenses, and workers’ compensation payments of different types. Here are a few of the most common injuries.
1. Projectiles or Flying Objects
In the case of a manufacturing or industrial occupation, oftentimes equipment — if malfunctioning or improperly used — can cause objects to become airborne. In many situations, the force with which these tools give way to an object can cause extreme — possibly even life-threatening — damage.
2. Chemical Contact
Businesses that manufacture, transport, or interact with large quantities of dangerous chemicals are obviously a concern here, but did you know almost all jobs have chemicals on site that may result in eye injuries — even cleaning supplies can be dangerous to your eyes, if improperly used. If one of these chemicals end up in a person’s eye, severe damage will likely result. Indeed, permanent damage is a possibility in some instances.
3. Loose Particles
Particles in the air may cause eye injuries in the workplace as well. Particles can end up in the work environment in a number of ways. Without proper ventilation, these particles may accumulate in the air in the workplace, ultimately coming into contact with with a worker’s eyes. While they may seem like a slight irritation, these particles have the potential to cause irrevocable damage like scarring or scratches to the iris, cornea, and all other parts of a worker’s eye.
4. Occupational Tools
Tools of different types represent another common cause of eye injuries in the workplace. More often than not, when a tool causes an eye injury it is because the piece is not being used properly. However, there are some tools that are inherently dangerous themselves and pose a threat to a worker even if used properly.
With technology like computer, tablet and phone screens becoming ubiquitous in many workplaces, over-strained and over exposed eye injuries are becoming more and more common. This kind of injury many not be as immediate as a traumatic encounter with some of the above listed hazards, but can cause vision loss and impairment overtime in the same way.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
Injury to the eyes on the job is very serious — especially if it keeps your from executing your occupational responsibilities. If you’ve suffered an injury as a result of exposure to any one of the above hazards, you may be able to file a workers compensation claim with the help of a competent personal injury attorney. These claims may be vital if you’re no longer able to work as a result of your injury.