An eye injury can be devastating, both physically and emotionally, but sadly, they are not uncommon within the work environment.
Let’s take a look at the most common causes of eye injuries, the most common types of injuries, and the potential for making a compensation claim.
Common Causes of Eye Injuries
Five most common causes of eye injuries at work:
Flying or falling objects
Flying or falling objects can happen in any type of work environment and are not restricted to manufacturing or engineering type settings. Even in an office, paper clips, staples, and other small objects can become airborne and cause serious eye injuries.
Working with chemicals can put you at risk for an eye injury. If chemicals splash into your eyes, it can cause severe pain, redness, and swelling. In some cases, chemical splashes can even lead to blindness.
Working with certain types of equipment can expose you to harmful radiation. This is mainly a concern in the healthcare and construction industries. Eye injuries from radiation exposure can range from minor irritation to severe burns.
Staring at a computer screen or other digital device for long periods of time can lead to eye strain. This can cause symptoms such as headaches, dry eyes, and blurred vision. In some cases, it can even lead to more serious conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts.
Certain environmental factors can also be a risk for eye injuries. These include dust, smoke, wind, and bright sunlight. Anyone who works outdoors or in dusty or smoky conditions is at risk for an eye injury.
Types of Eye Injuries
The most common types of eye injuries include:
A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the surface of the eye. This is the most common type of eye injury and usually heals within a few days. However, if not appropriately treated, it can lead to serious infections.
A penetrating injury occurs when an object penetrates the eye causing serious damage that can even lead to blindness. Immediate medical attention is required for this type of injury.
A retinal detachment occurs when the retina becomes separated from the back of the eye. This can happen if an injury or disease damages the retina. Retinal detachments are very serious and can lead to permanent vision loss.
An orbital fracture is a break in the bones around the eye. This type of injury can be very serious and may require surgery to repair.
Employer and Employee Responsibilities
Preventing eye injuries in the workplace starts with a good safety program that includes proper training, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and regular safety inspections. Employers should also have a plan in place for dealing with eye emergencies, as well as providing training on first aid for eye injuries.
Employees are also responsible for taking care of their own safety by following the rules and procedures put in place by their employer, wearing the proper PPE, and reporting any hazards they see.
Can I Claim Compensation For My Eye Injury?
If you have been injured at work, then you may be entitled to compensation. The amount you may be able to claim will depend on the severity of your injury, how long you have been off work, and whether you are able to return to your previous job. You may also be able to claim for any medical expenses you have incurred due to your injury.
To make a claim, you will need to contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in workplace injuries. They will be able to assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.
While compensation may be the last thing on your mind after an eye injury, it is essential to be aware of your rights. By claiming compensation, you can help ensure that you receive the best possible treatment and support in recovering from your injury. It can also help to remind businesses of their responsibilities to provide a safe workplace and to update or enforce health and safety policies.
What Are The Criteria For Making a Successful Claim?
There are a few criteria that must be met in order to make a successful compensation claim. Firstly, your employer must be at fault for the accident that caused your injury. This means that they did not take the necessary precautions to prevent it from happening.
Secondly, you must have suffered a loss as a result of your injury. This could include lost wages, medical expenses, or pain and suffering.
Thirdly, the accident must have occurred within the last three years.
While making a claim without legal advice is possible, it is always best to speak to a lawyer before proceeding. They will be able to assess your case and give you the best chance of success.
Making a claim for an eye injury can be a complex process, so it is essential to get expert advice before proceeding. A personal injury lawyer with experience in workplace accidents will be able to guide you through the process and help you get the compensation you deserve.