Construction Site Eye Injuries
Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
With the heavy machinery, dangerous equipment and falling debris commonly found at construction sites, it’s no wonder so many workers are injured and killed each year in construction accidents. While minor injuries like lacerations, bruises, concussions and even broken bones may cause you pain and inhibit your ability to work, there are few injuries on construction sites more dangerous than eye injuries. Imagine losing your vision in one or both eyes and you can understand why preventing construction site eye injuries is important. Unfortunately, when employers and supervisors fail to adequately train workers in something as simple as safety procedure, or fail to provide them with proper safety equipment, the results can be devastating. If you suffered an eye injury because of another person’s negligence, contact a construction accident attorney for legal help.
Causes of Construction Site Eye Injuries
Because of the diverse nature of construction jobs, the possible eye injuries workers could suffer from are also diverse. Welding in particular puts workers at risk of eye injuries because of the intense heat and light welders are exposed to on a daily basis. One of the most significant eye injuries associated with welding is an arc burn, also called a flash burn, which occurs when a person is exposed to intense ultaviolet (UV) light. Welding torches emit UV light, which could lead to an arc burn and possibly vision loss or blindness. Other possible causes of eye injuries include:
- Dust particles from glass, wood shavings, or metal that enter the eye
- Chemical fumes irritating the eyes
- Performing overhead work that exposes the eyes to falling dust, grit or harmful particles
- Being struck in the eye by falling debris
OSHA Regulations to Prevent Eye Injuries
To reduce the risk of eye injuries on the construction site, OSHA has established the following regulations regarding personal protective equipment:
- Safety glasses or face shields are to be worn anytime work operations may cause foreign objects to get into the eyes, such as during cutting, welding, nailing, grinding; when working with concrete or harmful chemicals; or when exposed to flying particles
- Eye and face protectors are to be selected based on anticipated hazards
- Safety glasses or face shields are to be worn when exposed to any electrical hazards including work on energized electrical systems
Complications Caused by Eye Injuries
Your eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of your body, and eye injuries can lead to life-altering complications for construction workers. Not only can eye injuries prevent you from returning to work for a period of time, but they can also lead to permanent disability caused by significant vision loss or even blindness. For this reason, protecting your eyes on the job site is incredibly important, and it is the responsibility of your employer to provide you with adequate eye protection.
Consult a Construction Accident Attorney Today
Eye injuries caused by construction accidents can result in life-long complications, possibly preventing employees from ever returning to work. If you or a loved one has suffered from an eye injury that occurred on the job, contact a construction accident attorney to explore your compensation options. You may be entitled to benefits for your medical bills and lost wages under workers’ compensation, and you may also have grounds to file a third-party liability claim if your eye injury was caused by a third party not employed by your employer. Eye injuries can be devastating, and victims shouldn’t be left to deal with the consequences on their own. With the expertise of a construction accident lawyer, injured construction workers can pursue the compensation they deserve and protect themselves from further harm.