People who work in some industries, including the construction industry, are at risk of suffering from eye trauma. These injuries can be serious and lead to long-term issues.
It is imperative that workers try to remain safe. Employers need to ensure they are providing the tools and protocol that can help to keep workers free of injuries.
There are many different types of eye injuries. Some will only cause temporary problems, but others can lead to permanent blindness. Any injury to the eye area must be evaluated by a medical professional as quickly as possible. Here are a few of the most common eye injuries at work:
- Objects penetrating the eye: Don’t try to remove the item from the eye. Instead, a trip to the local emergency room is in order. Tape something loose, such as a paper cup, over the eye to protect it and the object from being moved or touched until you can get medical help.
- Abrasions to the cornea: These scratches on the eye can be painful. You might experience increased sensitivity to light and redness. You are susceptible to infection as long as the cornea is scratched, especially if you have anything dirty or contaminated that comes into contact with the area. This is an emergency and must be treated as such.
- Chemical burns to the eye: You might notice pain. However, alkali substances may not burn right away. Typically, you will need to rinse the eye to flush the substance out. You will still need emergency medical care, preferably by an eye professional.
- Bleeding in the subconjunctiva: This means that there is a hemorrhage that is leaking blood between the white part of the eye and the clear covering. This normally doesn’t cause pain and is likely harmless. Seeing an eye doctor as soon as possible is a good idea to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.
The eyes aren’t an area of the body where you want to take a “wait and see” approach. Instead, get help as soon as you can since this gives you the best chance of preserving your eyesight. Workers’ compensation can help with the financial aspects of the care if the injury was due to something that happened at work.