Workplace accidents resulting in eye injuries occur an estimated 20,000 times each year. As noted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, employees using protective eyewear can help prevent injuries causing permanent blindness or nerve damage by about 90%.
Common mishaps resulting in severe eye trauma include accidents involving flying particles, sharp objects and dangerous chemicals, such as cleaning solutions. If an injury prevents a worker from carrying out his or her duties, the employee may file a claim for workers’ compensation.
In addition to impact injuries, progressive cornea disease could develop in individuals exposed to harmful toxins in their work environment. Symptoms can include reduced vision, watery eyes and pain.
Eye conditions that can develop while working with computers
Eyestrain and dry eye syndrome have become common problems for employees working with computers. Taking breaks to rest the eyes may help prevent a serious condition from developing.
Strain or pain from overusing the eyes could signal that an employee requires a visit to an optometrist. As reported by Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, symptoms of dry eye syndrome may include sore eyes, itching and blurred vision.
One of the world’s most common vision-related conditions and a major cause of visiting an eye doctor, dry eye syndrome can lead to inflammation and permanent damage. Dust from a workstation could also cause an injury related to dry eyes.
Pennsylvania workers’ compensation
Workers sustaining single-event workplace accidents resulting in eye injuries may apply for workers’ compensation. Pennsylvania does not require a worker to prove that he or she did not cause an accident.
Ocular conditions resulting from long-term computer-station work also enable an employee to apply for benefits. When an employee can no longer look at a computer screen, he or she may need to seek medical treatment and take time off for recovery.