Eye Injuries Are More Common Than People Realize

Eye injuries are more common than most people realize—more than a million Americans suffer an eye injury every year. The majority of eye injuries happen occupationally (800,000 per year); daily, some 2,000 workers in the U.S. require medical treatment for a work-related eye injury. Car accidents are the second leading cause, followed by rarer situations (defective contact lenses, failed laser eye surgery, overexposure to UV rays).

70% of occupational eye injuries are caused by objects or equipment; the rest come from exposure to harmful substances or environments (this data was gathered by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Many times (three out of five, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration), work place eye injuries are caused by failure to wear eye protection, or by wearing the wrong eye protection. Construction sites are the most common workplaces where eye injuries occur.

OSHA reports that the most frequent cause of workplace eye injury is flying particulate—most particles are very small, around the size of the period at the end of this sentence. But swinging objects (ropes, tools, chains, tree limbs) are also responsible for eye injuries, and these are usually more severe (and not always preventable with safety goggles). OSHA has mandated that employers provide (and ensure their employees use) protective eyewear, for all situations involving eye or face hazards—particles, flying objects, liquids, or gasses are all considered possible risks. When someone is injured in the eye by a flying particle, the best thing to do is have them sit or lie still and not touch their eye. Then call 911; removing a foreign object from the eye must be done in a hospital (trying to take it out yourself will result in further injury).

Chemical burns are the other main cause of workplace eye injuries; some just hurt for a while, others cause serious damage. Although acid burns hurt more initially, alkali burns to the eye are more serious and lasting; this chemical (alkali) is found in heavy solvents, like oven and toilet bowl cleaners. The immediate treatment here is to flush the eye with warm water for fifteen minutes, and also call a doctor or emergency room. Early treatment is crucial to saving the patient’s vision. There are a few other circumstances that can result in eye injury: a blow from an object (this can cause traumatic iritis), breaks or cracks in the facial bones around the eye, and blunt force trauma. All of these are serious medical conditions which should be dealt with in the hospital.

If you or someone you care for has suffered an eye injury as a result of negligence, you have options. Contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation. We are a Chicago injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. Long term loss of vision is an impairment of your physical abilities, finances, and quality of life. A good personal injury attorney can hold the people who caused the injury responsible, winning compensation for medical debt, lost employment income, and suffering. Agruss Law Firm, LLC, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.

Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.

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