An average of 2,000 such injuries occur each day in the workplace.
An eye injury is not something that people often associate with a work injury. However, an average of 2,000 such injuries occur each day in the workplace. Disability as a result can vary depending on the degree of blindness and whether it involves one or both of the eyes. If you recently injured an eye while on the job, the extent of your injury and the possibility for future gainful employment will all need to be explored at great length before a fair compensation amount can be reached.
An average of 15% of workplace related eye injuries cause temporary or permanent loss of vision. Workers’ compensation generally does not recognize blindness in one eye as a permanent total disability, even though loss of sight can cause an employee to experience emotional distress or depression.
Industries at Risk For Eye Injuries
Jobs where an eye injury is common should require safety glasses or goggles for its employees. Any workplace environment that includes flying bits of debris or dust is unsafe for the eyes and all proper precautions should be taken to avoid damage to them. Drilling, cutting, and chiseling operations are work-sites often associated with sharp flying debris.
Splashback from harsh chemicals can also cause injury to an eye or even blindness. Any worker required to handle acids or harsh solvents as part of their job description should always wear protective eye gear.
A lesser considered industry that is exposed to eye injuries is health care workers. An infectious disease is easily passed through the mucous membranes of the eye, either by direct contact such as a patient coughing, or indirectly from contaminated fingers.
Steps to Take After an Eye Injury
Whatever the circumstances are surrounding your eye injury you should always seek medical help immediately. Failing to have an eye injury diagnosed and treated right away can lead to partial or total blindness, limiting your quality of life. Your ability to work, drive or participate in other activities could be forever compromised. Once you have begun treatment, call a workman’s compensation attorney to help you file a claim.
Missouri Workers Compensation Attorney
A Missouri garbage collector was struck in the eye by the end of a bungee cord as he was tying down a tarp. Not only did he lose part of his vision, but he suffered severe depression as a result, in addition to a lower back injury sustained when the force of the bungee cord pushed him to the ground. While the insurance company was willing to pay for the initial eye injury claim, they were reluctant to help treat the back injury or the depression. After listening to plaintiffs arguments and hearing expert testimony about the future medical needs of the claimant, the insurance company finally did offer a settlement that took all of the injuries associated with the accident into consideration.
Losing a sense such as your vision is devastating and life altering. If your job puts the health of your eyes in danger it is imperative that you take every possible measure to protect them from it. In the event that an injury is still sustained, seek a workers’ compensation attorney who has had prior success. There is a good chance that your lifestyle may be affected forever and you will want to make sure that the insurers take that into consideration.
The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann has over 20 years of experience successfully protecting the rights of injured Missouri workers.
To schedule a free consultation call us at (314) 361-4300.
photo credit: Athena’s Armoury