Protecting Your Eyes on the Jobsite: Construction Workers at Risk of Serious Eye Injuries
If you were to ask anyone on the street what the most dangerous job in America is, many would answer construction—and they would not be far off. Workers in the construction field earn their living in an extraordinarily dangerous environment, dealing with heights, heavy equipment, chemicals, and other potential hazards.
When most people think of construction-related injuries, they may picture dramatic falls and accidents, but many construction workers experience a far less talked-about injury that can be an instant career-killer—damage to their eyes.
Eyes are critical to job safety in the construction world, but many worksites do not take the proper precautions to protect the eyes of their employees. From airborne particles to chemical exposure, the men and women who make their living in construction are a large portion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimate of nearly 2,000 eye injuries each day.
Are Employers Required to Protect the Eyes of Their Employees?
In jobs where the risk of eye injury is present, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has strict requirements in place for employers to help protect their employees. Some of these requirements include:
- Providing at-risk employees with sufficient eye protection that guards against environmental, mechanical, flash radiation, and chemical exposure hazards.
- For workers who are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job, employers must offer training in the proper usage, limitation, and care of their PPE.
- In areas that present any eye hazards, emergency eyewash stations and first aid instructions must be present.
In construction work especially, PPE may not be enough to protect your eyes from potential hazards, and should never be the first line of defense. Equipment must be properly maintained, and proper safety guards should be in place. For particularly hazardous chemicals or machinery, proper warnings should be clearly visible.
Keep Your Eyes—and Your Livelihood—Safe on the Site
When it comes to your eyes, protection and injury prevention are key, and your employer should put a priority on proper eye protection and safety. If you suffered an eye injury at work as the result of your employer’s negligence in offering proper training or protective equipment, you deserve compensation.
Have you suffered an eye injury on a New Jersey or New York City construction site? Contact our firm today to learn about the compensation you may be entitled to, either by phone or by filling out our short online contact form.