Eye injury at work
Get legal advice from experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers
The eyes are more than just “the window to your soul” and the “lamp of the body,” they’re undoubtedly a big reason why you’re able to do the job that you do and provide for your family.
But what happens if you sustain a permanent eye injury or loss of vision while on the job?
Fortunately, like all job-related injuries and illnesses, a work-related eye injury is covered under Georgia’s workers’ compensation system. This provides injured workers with financial reimbursement for medical expenses and a portion of lost wages.
Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan and your benefits may be unreasonably denied or reduced.
If you’re one of the many workers who have suffered a workplace eye injury, then you’re probably stressed and worried about your vision, your career, and your future. At Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, our experienced Atlanta attorneys help hardworking Georgians across the state fight to secure the full compensation they deserve when they suffer a work-related accident or injury — including loss of sight and eye injuries.
Don’t take your employer at their word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
Common causes of work-related eye injuries
Eye injuries at work are caused by a myriad of events. Splashes from chemicals, blunt force trauma from a flying object or an allergic reaction (like conjunctivitis, or “pink-eye”) are relatively common in certain professions.
Other causes of occupation loss of vision include extended computer usage or overexposure to ultraviolet rays from items like sunlamps, lasers and even fluorescent lights.
Professions and occupations especially at risk for eye injuries include:
- Construction workers
- Assembly line workers
Those working in the computer field are also at risk of loss of vision due to long hours staring at computer screens, which can cause nausea, fatigue, migraine headaches and dizziness.
Common types of eye injuries at work
Eye injuries come in all shapes and sizes. Four of the most common types of injuries include:
- Scrapes or strikes: The vast majority of injuries to the eyes happen when items like small pieces of cement, wood chips or metal are flung at the eye at a high rate of speed. These materials can also be blown, ejected or dropped into the eye while an employee is working. Eye injuries can even occur when a large object strikes the face or eye, or if an employee ran into an object, causing blunt-force trauma to the eye socket or eyeball.
- Penetration: When an object goes through the eyeball, this can result in permanent loss of vision. Examples of this include nails, staples, metal shavings or wood slivers sent hurtling through the eye at vast rates of speed.
- Thermal or chemical burns: It’s possible to lose vision due to the eye(s) because of a serious burn, such as being exposed to cleaning products or industrial chemicals. Thermal burns to the eyes are surprisingly common, especially among welders.
- Eye disease: It’s possible to acquire an eye disease by being exposed to blood splashes, touching your eyes with dirty or contaminated fingers, or from cough or sneeze droplets. Eye disease can then result, showing up as reddening, soreness or crustification of the eye — or even turn life-threatening, such as contracting Hepatitis B, HIV or avian flu.
Workplace eye injury statistics
Did you know that more than 2,000 American workers are affected by an eye injury each day, many so serious that they require medical treatment? That’s according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Even more disheartening is that more than 100 of these reported injuries result in the victim needing one or more days to recuperate at home.
See the full infographic here:
What to do if you suffer an eye injury or loss of vision
First and foremost, seek medical treatment. After that, you must report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. They should provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form, along with instructions to file your claim.
Next, that claim form must be filed with your state before the deadline passes. When all of that’s done, we recommend contacting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys to review your situation and explain if you have a case or not.
Symptoms & signs of an eye injury
Depending on the type of injury, a person may feel sharp eye pain, bleeding in the eye or from the eye, redness, swelling or soreness and, at worst, immediate loss of sight. Other symptoms of eye injuries include a noticeable change in vision (such as double vision), aching around the eye and brow, and even headaches.
Further symptoms include cuts to the eyelid, one eye sticking out or not moving, unusual pupil size or shape and something embedded in the eye or under the eyelid.
Types of injuries covered by Georgia workers’ compensation claims
Eye safety: tips for protecting your vision at work
To prevent work-related eye injuries or loss of vision, employees should always wear eye protection such as safety glasses, goggles, or full face shields — depending on the nature of their work.
It’s important that eyewear be fitted to each individual and adjustable so that they provide appropriate coverage. If you’re performing a task and unsure if you need eye protection, it’s best not to take a chance. Better to have and not need, than to accidentally put your eye out!
Continue reading: Check out the Vision Council’s “Eye Safety At-a-Glance” e-book for more tips on how to protect your vision at work.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
Contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney today
If you’ve suffered an eye injury while on the job and believe you haven’t been properly compensated, contact the attorneys at Gerber-Holder Law to find out if you have a case.
Our Atlanta attorneys are national leaders in workers’ compensation litigation with over 75 years of experience. Insurance companies have skilled attorneys representing them, and so should you. Best of all, you don’t have to pay us a penny unless we win your case, so there’s no cost to learning about your rights.