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Eye Injuries at Work


An injury to the eye is a serious matter that can lead to permanent impairment. When an eye injury occurs at work, the victim needs to seek immediate medical attention. Injuries to the eye can cause temporary or permanent loss of vision, blurred vision, and lifelong disability. Workers’ Compensation benefits provide injured workers with compensation to cover their medical expenses, loss of wages, and disability.

Industries with a High Risk for Eye Injuries

Vision is vital for our quality of life, independence, and productivity. Protecting our sense of sight should be a top priority for everyone, especially for those who face an increased risk for eye injuries at work. Industries with the highest risk for eye injuries include:


  • Welding

  • Construction

  • Machinists

  • Manufacturing

  • Automotive

  • Food Industry

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Mining

  • Offshore workers

  • Oil and gas industry

  • Office work requiring long hours on the computer

  • Medical professionals exposed to body fluids

  • Electricians

  • Plumbers

  • Carpentry

  • Maintenance


Chipping, grinding, masonry work, wood-working, sawing, drilling, chiseling, sanding, and working with high powered tools can cause dust and small particles to fly off and pierce the thin covering of the eye. Severe damage to the cornea and retina can result from scratches, punctures, and exposure to bright light and chemicals.

Types of Workplace Eye Injuries

All eye injuries, even those that appear to be minor should be reported to the worker’s supervisor, manager, or employer. There are a multitude of workplace eye injuries that can occur, such as:


  • Corneal punctures and scratches

  • Dust and small fibers that become imbedded in the eye

  • Abrasions and contusions

  • Flash burns from fire, welding torches, molten metal, sun reflection, and UV radiation

  • Chemical burns and splashes

  • Computer vision syndrome

  • Infection

  • Loss of vision

  • Retinal damage

  • Impact injury to the bone, muscle, or tissue surrounding the eye


Preventing Workplace Eye Injuries

Preventing workplace eye injuries is vital to protecting vision.


  • Wear appropriate eye protection, such as safety glasses, goggles, and UV protection glasses

  • Regularly inspect and fix manufacturing equipment and power tools

  • Use machine guards and work screens

  • Wear face shields when working with chemicals, welding equipment, and blood borne pathogens

  • Regularly replace protective eyewear to ensure maximum vision and protection

  • Properly train employees on eye safety and protection

  • Post signs for workplace hazards and safety procedures

  • Provide proper lighting in work areas to maximize vision

  • Prevent long term exposure to computer screens, lasers, and fiber optics by taking frequent breaks


The United States Department of Labor reports over 20,000 workplace eye injuries occur each year, costing more than $300 million in medical treatments, lost days at work, and Workers’ Compensation benefits. Personal protective equipment and proper training for workers exposed to dangerous work environments can prevent a large number of these eye injuries.

New Brunswick Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Worker Safety

If you have suffered a workplace eye injury, call the New Brunswick Workers’ Compensation lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr at 877-249-4600 or 732-537-8570 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Highland Park offices serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia, New Jersey.

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