Although Connecticut workers are likely aware that eye protection is supposed to be worn in certain workplaces, tens of thousands of eye injuries still occur annually. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are more than 20,000 workplace eye injuries each year, many of which result in at least one missed day of work.
Eye injuries can range from a simple, temporary eye strain to more severe trauma. Depending on the severity of the injury, a worker could experience vision loss, permanent damage to the eye and even blindness. Workers and supervisors should look out for certain signs, including pain in the eye, a bulging eye, an unusual shape or size of the pupil and blood in the whites of the eye. Injured workers should be treated at a medical facility as soon as possible.
There are things that employees can do to reduce the risk of suffering eye injuries while on the job. For example, employees should always wear protective eyewear that has been accepted by the American National Standards Institute and is OSHA compliant. Those who work on computers all day should keep the monitor 25 inches away from their eyes and take a 20-second break every 20 minutes.
When employers do not enforce workplace safety procedures, employees could be at risk. Injured workers may suddenly lose their ability to make an income and may face hefty medical bills. However, a workers’ compensation attorney could help a victim file a claim. If the claim is disputed by either the employer or the employer’s insurance company, legal counsel may continue to work toward a settlement that covers the cost of medical care and a portion of the worker’s income.