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Risks and Preventive Measures for Workplace Eye Injuries

Posted in Work Injury on February 19, 2024

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Awareness Month, and we want to raise your awareness of some important issues surrounding your eye health. Importantly, our work injury lawyers in Phoenix want to highlight some of the risks our eyes face in the workplace as well as some of the top preventative measures for protecting our eyes in the work environment.

Most Common Types of Workplace Eye Injuries

The risk of sustaining an eye injury at work is directly related to the type of work individuals do. Some individuals face much higher risks of sustaining an eye injury (however, anyone in any industry can sustain an eye injury depending on the circumstances of the work environment). For example, individuals working around tools, such as construction workers, are more likely to sustain eye injuries than those who work inside of your local town hall.

Workplace environments can present several types of hazards to our eye health, and the most common injuries include:

  • Foreign objects. Small particles such as dust, wood, metal, or plastic can enter the eye, causing irritation or more severe damage.
  • Chemical burns. Splashes from industrial chemicals or cleaning products can cause severe injuries and burns to the eye tissue.
  • Cuts and abrasions. Tools, machinery, or even paper can scratch the eye surface, leading to cuts or abrasions that may impair vision.
  • Blunt trauma. Impacts from objects like tools, machinery parts, or accidental elbow strikes can cause bruising or more serious eye injuries.
  • Radiation exposure. Prolonged exposure to UV light from welding or direct sunlight without proper eye protection can lead to radiation damage.

How to Prevent Workplace Eye Injuries

Any person who sustains an eye injury at work should seek medical care immediately. However, preventing these injuries from happening in the first place is a much more desirable outcome. Preventing workplace eye injuries involves a combination of adequate safety practices, training, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Some important preventative steps include:

  • Wear proper eye protection. Safety glasses, goggles, or face shields should be worn in environments where there is a risk of physical or chemical injuries to the eyes.
  • Use screens and guards. Where applicable, use protective screens and guards on machinery to prevent flying particles and debris.
  • Ensure proper lighting. Adequate lighting reduces the risk of eye strain and injuries caused by poor visibility.
  • Label and store chemicals safely. Clearly label all chemicals and store them properly to prevent accidental splashes.
  • Educate and train employees. Regular training on the importance of eye safety, how to use protective equipment correctly, and first-aid measures for eye injuries can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

Importantly, if you feel like your workplace is not taking the necessary steps to keep you safe, you need to speak up. Reporting an unsafe work environment is one of the best preventative measures you can take to preserve not only your eye health, but your overall bodily health.

Workplace injury victims, including those who sustain eye injuries, may need to seek assistance from an attorney to recover compensation for their losses. Eye injuries are often permanent, meaning individuals may be able to recover additional disability compensation.