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5 common workplace eye injuries

You use your eyes for virtually everything you do in your life. Even though your livelihood and personal enjoyment likely depend on having healthy eyes, you probably do not think much about your vision. Still, if you sustain an eye injury or develop an illness, you may have to deal with poor vision for the rest of your life. 

Often, when talking about workers’ compensation, industry experts focus primarily on broken bones, strained muscles and general illnesses. Nonetheless, if you sustain an eye injury at work, you may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. Here are five common workplace eye injuries you should know about. 

1. Eyestrain 

Staring at a computer screen for hours can cause eyestrain. The same is true for other tasks that require eye concentration. Over time, eyestrain may turn into degenerative eye disease. If your eyes feel tired, itchy or watery, you may have eyestrain. 

2. Particle injuries 

Whether you swing a hammer, use a welding machine, operate a saw or otherwise work with equipment that makes small particles, you may worry about particles winding up in your eye. Often, effectively removing splinters, metal fragments and other particles requires surgery. 

3. Eye burns 

If you work in a factory, laboratory or warehouse, you may regularly use toxic chemicals. As you probably know, many chemicals can cause eye irritation. To help you avoid eye burns, always wear protective goggles when working with chemicals. You should also have access to an eyewash station. 

4. Infections 

Bacteria, viruses and fungus all can lead to eye infection. If you regularly work with bodily fluids, splashing them in your eye could make you sick. Moreover, working in places with dirty air filters or moldy items may increase your chances of developing an eye infection.   

5. Radiation damage 

Your job description may require you to work with ultraviolet or other types of radiation. If so, your employer should provide you with information and equipment to protect your eyes from radiation damage. 

You use your eyes every day. If you sustain an eye injury at work, the future of your employment may be in jeopardy. By understanding the most common types of work-related eye injuries, you know when to alert your employer of a possible problem with your eyes.

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