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Sudden blindness: Eye injuries on the job

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Blindness is a disorder that is difficult for anyone to overcome. Even those born blind have to adjust to a world in which, in many ways, sight is taken for granted. Those with degenerative diseases or blindness due to aging have time to adjust as their vision fades, though it is still difficult.

However, you could make the argument that those who encounter a sudden onset of blindness or extreme vision loss have it the hardest of all. They have to relearn many skills. They are not prepared — mentally, physically or emotionally — for this change. It all happens so quickly.

Workplace injuries

One way that this happens is through workplace injuries. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), around 2,000 American workers suffer eye injuries on the job every single day. This only counts the injuries that do end up requiring medical treatment, so you have to imagine that the totals are far higher if you take minor injuries into account.

This does not mean that those 2,000 workers go blind or even have long-term ramifications to deal with, but they do end up in the hospital with sudden, unexpected injuries. That’s nothing to take lightly, especially when you have thousands of cases per day.

Eye protection

One of the best ways to prevent these injuries is simply to use proper eye protection on the job. Doctors and safety experts claim that doing so can prevent or at least reduce the severity of about 90% of reported injuries. That doesn’t mean eye injuries are impossible by any means, but it does show the risk of doing a job without the right safety gear.

The hazards

Naturally, the specific hazards differ from one occupation to the next. For a construction worker, a risk could be splinters and dust flying up from a table saw. For a road worker, the risk could be concrete or asphalt pieces entering the air during the use of heavy machinery. For a scientist, the risk could be chemical exposure.

You also must take into account that issues not commonly associated with eye damage can, in fact, lead to serious injuries. Many workers get hurt in falls and car accidents, for instance. After a serious accident, an eye injury could be just part of the health challenges that the worker faces moving forward.

Your options

Did you suffer a serious injury or even become suddenly blind in a workplace accident? This can absolutely change the rest of your life and you need to know about all of your legal options in Pennsylvania.


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