What Occupational Hazards Can Cause Eye Damage at Work?
Our eyesight is one of the most fundamental senses we possess. Partial loss of sight or total blindness caused by eye damage at work can have a dramatic effect on a person’s life, whether it is a temporary or permanent injury.
There are many dangers in the workplace that can pose a threat to an employee’s eyesight if appropriate precautions are not taken by the employer.
Workplace dangers to your eyesight
Bright lights: Welders produce an intense amount of light that can be harmful to the eye. The use of welders without the correct safety equipment has the potential to cause temporary or permanent eye damage at work. Bright lights can also come from a number of other sources such as explosions, lasers, defective electrical objects and searchlights, though this list is by no means exhaustive.
Chemicals: These are used in many factory based jobs. If chemicals come into contact with the face through splashes or spillages, they can cause burns which in turn can harm the eye. If you use chemicals at work, your employer owes you a duty to have provided you with training and safety equipment so that you can avoid sustaining an eye injury at work or developing occupational dermatitis.
Electric shocks: We use electrical products on a daily basis, but an electric shock has the potential to cause eyesight damage. This can occur through the shock itself or the exposure to a sudden bright flash of light.
Grit and other particles: Our eyelashes and protective socket are designed to protect the eye from damage. However, frequent exposure to grit during your employment, particularly through the use of machinery in manufacturing, has the potential to cause an eye injury at work, especially if protective equipment such as goggles is not provided.
Other forms of exposure can occur through grinding or hammering, where splinters or slivers of material such as metal are ejected at high velocity from the machine towards operators or nearby employees.
Head trauma: An impact to the face or head can cause a direct injury to the eye, but a blow or impact to the head in the workplace or any form of head trauma can lead to internal and external eye injuries, which have the potential to cause a loss of sight or even blindness.
Sharp objects: We come into contact with sharp objects on a daily basis, and it is likely that an employee will be exposed to dangerous objects in their workplace. If these objects are used in the wrong way, they have the real risk of causing serious harm to a person’s eyesight.
Your employer’s responsibility
The examples above are some of the main types of eye injuries at work, but there are many more ways in which an employee’s visual abilities can be impaired.
It is an employer’s duty to eliminate any risk of eye damage at work or provide protective equipment where the risk cannot be fully removed. However, there are instances where wrong protective equipment is given, or the methods used to minimise the risk of harm are not adequately carried out.
If you have suffered from an eye injury at work, you may be able to make a claim for Occupational Sight Loss. Contact Roberts Jackson Solicitors on 0808 252 5504 today to see if we can help you claim for your work related injury.