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Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

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Vision Loss

The eyes are one of the most delicate parts of the human body, and even a seemingly minor injury can lead to partial or total vision loss. Workers who sustain an eye injury on the job may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation is a type of insurance that provides people who are injured in the course of their employment with wage replacement and medical benefits.

A number of federal, state, and local laws are in place that require employers to provide employees with protective eyewear if they are exposed to hazardous materials on the job. Employers who violate these laws are subject to substantial fines and penalties. Particularly egregious violations may constitute gross negligence on the part of the employer. If this is the case, an injured worker may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer outside the Workers’ Compensation system. The experienced team at Gross & Kenny, LLP, help injured workers determine the best course of action to take in their unique situation.

Are You at Risk for Injury?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year over 800,000 Americans sustain eye injuries at work. Employees with the highest rate of injuries include: construction workers, carpenters, welders, factory workers, manufacturers, electricians, auto mechanics, and people who spend long periods of time in front of a computer screen.

How Do Eye Injuries Happen at Work?

Eye injuries can happen to any employee in almost any line of work. Some of the more common scenarios that lead to eye injury include:

  • Extended screen time. The backlight of an office computer can be two to five times brighter than what is normal for a human eye to process. Excessive exposure can cause a range of ailments, including eye strain, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, and migraines.
  • Chemical exposure. When a person is not wearing protective eyewear, or not wearing it correctly, hazardous chemicals can splash into the eyes causing serious burns and blindness. The damage caused by these types of injuries is often irreversible. Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault insurance program, meaning that even if the employee was not wearing the appropriate eye wear, he or she may still be entitled to benefits.
  • Projectile trauma. Projected shards of glass, wood, metal, or other particulates can scratch the cornea. Sometimes these particulates are so small that they are nearly invisible. Even the smallest particles can cause a severe eye injury.
  • Power tool and machine accidents. Nail guns, walking into sharp wires, and contact with a saw, blade, or staple gun are all common causes of eye injury.
  • UV ray exposure. Employees who work around lasers, sun lamps, fluorescent bulbs, and even natural light can experience headaches, fatigue, dizziness and nausea.
  • Spark or burn injuriesContact with corrosive or caustic chemicals can cause severe injury.

The eye is a highly sophisticated and sensitive organ. Some of the situations described above can damage a person’s ability to see properly, including:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Loss of visual acuity
  • Total blindness

What To Do After an Accident

If you have been injured at work, notify your employer immediately. It is also important to seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible. Regardless of the severity of your injury, your employer may ask you to fill out a “first report of injury” form as soon as your condition has stabilized.

If your injury requires additional treatment, contact your employer at once. Often, if you sustained an eye injury, you will need to see an ophthalmologist. If you are not offered an ophthalmologist through the list of approved physicians, you are entitled to choose your own eye specialist.

Follow all treatment guidelines. Your physician will complete a “return to work” form, and decide whether or not you can return to your former job. In cases of blindness or permanent disability, this may not be possible. You may be entitled to specific loss benefits in the form of a cash settlement in addition to your other Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP Fight for Victims of Employment-Related Vision Loss

Your eyes and vision are an essential part of maintaining the quality of your life. If you have been injured on the job, the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP, will fight to get you the full benefits to which you are entitled. Call us today at 267-589-0090 or 215-512-1500 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia, where we represent clients throughout Pennsylvania.