What's Your Vision Worth?

90 percent of workplace eye injuries were preventable.

A chemical splash or a flying metal shard can have devastating consequences on the job—every day in the United States about 2,000 workers seek medical treatment for serious eye injuries.

All of those injuries equate to about $300 million a year in medical expenses, workers' compensation benefits, and lost productivity.

Eye injuries are painful and, sadly, some lead to permanent vision damage, including partial or complete blindness. Sadder yet, is that 90 percent of these eye injuries could have been prevented.

With this statistic in mind the workers' compensation attorneys here at Edgar Snyder & Associates thought it would be an opportune time to take a minute to discuss the importance of on-the-job eye safety.

If you are employed in the mining, construction, manufacturing or health care industries, your work increases your risk of an eye injury.

Consider this:

  • One in 10 eye injuries suffered on the job required one or more days of recovery time.
  • As much as 20 percent of work-related eye injuries cause temporary or even permanent vision loss.
  • It's estimated that as many as 1 million Americans have suffered some type of vision loss because of an eye injury suffered on the job.

Understanding Your Risk of Eye Injury

Different hazards require different protective eye equipment, so understanding the risks associated with workplace eye injuries is the first step in protecting yourself and your vision.

For example, if you deal with chemicals, you will need safety glasses or goggles that will protect you from dangerous fumes and possible splashes. But if your job requires you to use heavy machinery to grind, chip or saw materials, then you need eye equipment that will protect you from flying metal and wood shards, as well as dust and dirt.

If you're not sure what type of safety gear is most appropriate for you—whether it's glass, plastic or polycarbonate goggles— the national Occupational Safety and Health Administration has an online hazard assessment tool that can help you.

Knowing When to Seek Help

When it comes to suffering an eye injury, it should go without saying that the sooner you seek treatment the better your chances of a full recovery.

We urge you to seek medical attention as soon as possible if:

  • You have trouble seeing
  • You suffered a cut to your eyelid
  • One eye does not move the way the other one does
  • One eye sticks our farther than the other
  • One pupil is the wrong size or shape
  • You see blood in the white of either of your eyes
  • You have something lodged in your eye

You Have a Right to a Safe Workplace

Even if you're not quite sure what specific protective eye equipment would be best for your particular work hazards, you can be certain that your employer needs to provide it to you.

Pennsylvania workers have a right to safe working conditions and access to information and injury prevention strategies and equipment. You also have a right to apply for workers' compensation following a workplace eye injury without fear of retaliation. Employers who put their workers at risk are subject to steep fines.

Knowing When to Hire a Workers' Compensation Attorney

In 2015, there were more than 166,000 workers' compensation cases in Pennsylvania, and more than 6,000 of them were related to eye injuries.

Don't be a statistic. Ask yourself this question: What is your vision worth to you? We're sure if you ask any of the 6,000 people who filed workers' compensation cases because of an eye injury they will tell you: It's worth always wearing your protective eye gear.

With that said, the workers' compensation attorneys at Edgar Snyder & Associates understand that sometimes, accidents happen even when you've done everything in your power to prevent them.

That's where we come in. If you've been injured at work, we can help you. Call today for a free case review, and let our skilled legal team go to work for you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain because at Edgar Snyder & Associates, there's never a fee unless we get money for you.

American Academy of Ophthalmology
Industrial Safety and Hygiene News
Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation & Workplace Safety 2015 Annual Report