A worker’s eye site can be placed at risk by performing the duties of his or her job. There are thousands of on the job eye injuries that occur each and every day according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. These eye injuries, even if they seem minor at first, have the potential to cause the worker a lifetime of vision problems. While accidents can happen on the job that result in eye injuries, it is important for workers to understand that suffering an eye injury is never part of your job description. Georgia workers who suffer an on the job eye injury may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for their medical expenses, medical-related travel costs and lost wages while they recover.
Types of Workers That Typically Suffer Work Accident Eye Injuries
Work accident eye injuries could happen to any worker in Atlanta, but some types of work pose a significantly higher risk of inflicting an eye injury on a worker. Some workers are exposed to work conditions that pose a hazard to their eye sight. Workers who frequently suffer work accident eye injuries include:
- Construction workers;
- Assembly workers;
- Computer data entry workers;
- Glass and tile workers;
- Healthcare workers;
- Laboratory workers;
- Animal caretakers; and
- Emergency responders.
These types of workers are consistently placed in danger of suffering eye injuries. Construction workers, carpenters, welders and electricians in Atlanta face the risk of sparks, nails, sawdust, and other debris being shot into their eyes while they work. Janitors, lab workers and healthcare professionals are all exposed to hazardous chemicals or contaminated blood. If chemicals or blood are splashed into the eyes it can cause serious injury to the eyeball itself, but then the chemical or blood can enter into the worker’s body through the eye, exposing the worker to potential chemical toxicity or infection.
Common Causes of Work Accident Eye Injuries
The causes for work accident eye injuries can take many forms. Some of the most commonly cited causes for on the job eye injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Debris from hammering, sanding, or masonry work accidentally being introduced into the eye, e.g., from tool or equipment cast off.
- Windy conditions blowing debris into the eye.
- Sparks and UV radiation from welding can cause eye injuries to workers and bystanders.
- Exposure to dangerous chemical splashes and fumes.
- Exposure of the eye to powdered cement.
- Injuries produced by exposure to lasers.
- Eye protection becomes damaged or broken and causes injuries to and around the eye.
- Worker failing to wear proper or adequate eye protection, goggles or face shield.
- Blunt force trauma to the eye and/or eye socket.
- Eye infection from ocular exposure to blood splashes or respiratory droplets.
- Smoke exposure, and exposure to other noxious or hazardous gases while fighting a fire or responding to a fire.
Types of Eye Injuries
There are various different types of eye injuries that an injured worker can suffer. Some of the most common types of eye injuries that workers suffer include:
- Impalement of an object into the eye, e.g., splinter, nail, scrap of metal or glass, etc .
- Corneal erosion due to chemical exposure or small, gritty debris.
- Scratches on the cornea.
- Lacerations of the cornea.
- Conjunctivitis/inflammation of the conjunctiva.
- Welder’s flash eye damage from uv radiation exposure.
- Thermal burns to the cornea from stray sparks or hot metal fragments.
- Facial injuries to the ocular region of the face.
- Black eye.
- Injuries to the eyelid.
- Eye strain.
- Migraines and headaches.
These injuries to the eye can be immensely painful and can cause the injured worker serious vision problems or even could result in the injured worker becoming partially or completely blind in the injured eye. Not only could the injured worker suffer the initial injury, but there is the potential for the eye injury to become infected or to become progressively worse. Injured workers must seek a medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.
Workers’ Compensation for Work Accident Eye Injuries
An eye injury is just like any other workplace injury and workers who suffer on the job eye injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers need to report their eye injury to their employer as soon as possible after suffering the injury, and then must file a workers’ compensation claim within one year of the injury. Workers’ compensation benefits can be used to cover:
- Medical expenses associated with diagnosing and treating your eye injury, including costs for seeing an opthamologist;
- Expenses associated with therapy or special treatment procedures;
- Compensation for the cost of medications and other items needed for affecting your treatment; and
- A portion of lost wages.
It is important for injured workers to seek and obtain workers’ compensation benefits for their work-related eye injuries since an eye injury impacts many other facets of your life. In addition to impeding your ability to perform your job, your work-related eye injury could make it difficult for you to operate a vehicle, read, or perform other normal daily tasks that are important to your day-to-day life.
Sometimes the process of obtaining workers’ compensation benefits isn’t as easy as it should be for injured workers. Your employer, or the workers’ compensation insurance provider, might try to deny your eye injury claim. When you are injured on the job and need workers’ compensation benefits, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to help you with the process.
Contact an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer: Bader Law Firm, LLC
Eye injuries are serious, no matter how small the initial injury may be. Your eyesight is critical for most aspects of your life, and you should be able to get the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve if you have suffered a workplace accident. The professionals at Bader Law Firm, LLC are committed to helping Atalanta workers seek and obtain workers’ compensation for their medical expenses and lost wages over eye injuries for many years. We can assist you with all aspects of your workers’ compensation claim. Contact our skilled workers’ compensation lawyers in Atlanta today.