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Eye Injuries on Construction Sites

Eye injuries and construction workers are a problematic combination. Together, they commonly spell one word that cannot be unread: loss. Loss of sight, loss of a job, loss of income, loss of identity, and even loss of life. Sadly, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that “each day about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment.” That’s roughly 730,000 eye injuries a year, most of which occur on construction sites. Note: This figure only takes into account reported injuries, as many workers are discouraged from reporting injuries or choose not to from fear of losing their job.

It’s incredibly important to know your rights if you or a loved one works in construction or has suffered an eye injury on a NYC construction site, as they exist to keep you and your family from losing the money and benefits you are entitled to. Equally as important, you must take action and you must do so without delay in order to protect your vision, health and financial well-being. Why? Because, sadly, having the law is on your side is oftentimes not enough. Like a key into a lock, you must combine both elements to truly move forward.

And you can do that in one call, without charge, by contacting Schwartzapfel® Lawyers.

Dial 1-800-966-4999 and speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today. Day or night, it would be our honor and privilege to assist you in all matters legal so that you may walk away with peace of mind and sound advice.

Don’t gamble with your family’s future. Allow Schwartzapfel® Lawyers the privilege of helping you understand what to do and what not to do in these difficult times.

Take action today and call us now at 1-800-966-4999.



Eye injuries can occur at any time for any number of reasons. On construction sites in NYC, common causes include but are not limited to:

Falling objects – On impact, dropped tools and fallen debris are capable of causing a wide variety of eye injuries that range in severity from cuts and bruises to fractures and blindness, or worse.

Chemical exposure – Direct and indirect exposure to asbestos, silica, formaldehyde, mercury, hydrofluoric acid, and flame retardants like chlorine, as well as hundreds of other chemical agents commonly found on construction sites can lead to irritations and diminished functionality of the eye, discolorations of the cornea, and many other forms of injury, pain, and suffering.

Dust – Carpentry, masonry, and excavation often result in massive outpourings of dust that can trigger ocular migraines, disturbances of vision, and other serious, eye-related maladies upon contact.

Arc welding – Corneal flash burns can result from this activity, causing blurred vision, pain and swelling of the eyes, as well as infections later on.

Head injuries – Injuries to your head can have a direct effect on your vision with symptoms such as blurred vision, double vision, and migraines brought on by exposure to extreme light, heat, etc.

Regardless of how or why, if you have suffered an eye injury on a NYC construction site, please know: You are protected by the law!

As stated in Labor Law § 240(1): “A person employing or directing another to perform labor of any kind… on a building or structure shall furnish… devices which shall be so constructed, placed, and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed or directed.”

Any violation of Labor Law § 240(1) that leads to injury results in the owner and contractor being absolutely liable for injuries and damages caused. Absolute liability means that the plaintiff (the injured employee) does not have to prove negligence on the part of the defendant (the owner or contractor). In short: What matters is that an injury occurred when it shouldn’t have, and so, even if the injured worker may have been partially at fault, the responsible party (i.e. the owner of the building and contractor) should still be held 100% liable.


With any eye injury, the physical pain and suffering an injured worker may experience can be extensive. Physical injuries can include but are not limited to:

Corneal abrasions

Symptoms include: pain, tearing, sensitivity to light.

Traumatic iritis

Symptoms include: aching around the eye, excessive tearing.

Orbital fractures

Symptoms include: pain, swelling, double vision.


Symptoms include: pain, redness, swelling.


Symptoms include: redness, itching, swelling, discharge.


Symptoms include: throbbing pain, sensitivity to light, vomiting, nausea.

Nerve damage

Symptoms include: pain, loss of peripheral or color vision, sudden appearance of flashing lights.


Symptoms include: inability to see shapes, cloudy vision, etc.


May be caused by: eye avulsions, infections, suicide, and more.

Symptoms of an Injury

Additionally, injuries that are not readily apparent at the time of the accident can include: damaged or worsening vision, the appearance of cotton-wool spots in the visual field, and elevated blood pressure that can result in blindness, stroke, and death.

In addition to physical injuries, emotional suffering can occur in the aftermath of any construction-related accidents. Conditions related to the eye include but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Acute stress disorder (ASD)
  • Mental alterations (e.g. mood swings, disorientation, sudden outbursts)

Unfortunately, personal injury losses rarely stop with injury and commonly bleed into the injured persons’ finances. Examples include:

  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of pension, annuity, and other retirement benefits
  • Loss of health and social security benefits

However they occur, eye injuries are a serious matter that require serious attention. If you or someone you love has been injured in this way in a construction-related accident, the last thing you need is bills piling up. So, please, don’t wait until it’s too late. Protect your financial future by calling Schwartzapfel® Lawyers today.

What to do in the event of an eye injury on a construction site

If injured, receiving proper medical care is critical for your physical and mental recovery. As such, first and foremost: get help. If you can, visit the emergency room or see your doctor right away. Because whether or not you believe you need immediate assistance, when it comes to your eyes, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. It is also important to document your injury with a timely medical note and visit.

Next, one of the best ways to protect you and your family’s financial future is to secure expert legal representation. On a related note: Please do not give statements to anyone — including insurance agents — without first speaking to your lawyer. Why? Because anything you say will be misconstrued and used against you. Furthermore, it is imperative that you not accept any form of settlement, monetary or otherwise.

No matter how convincing they may sound, these men and women are not your ally. Insurance companies exist to make profits for their shareholders. What is best for them is to pay as little as possible. You can prevent this from happening by politely but firmly telling them you have retained an attorney and cannot speak to them.

To better understand your options in the aftermath of any construction-related accident involving injury to the eye, speak with an experienced workers’ comp attorney today. Call 1-800-966-4999.

Workers’ rights on NYC construction sites

Did you know that construction workers have special rights and protections offered to them by the law? That’s right, they do — especially in NYC!

Pursuant to New York’s labor laws, building owners and contractors are responsible for providing “safe working conditions and safe places to work,” (New York State Department of Labor: § 23-1.3). Moreover, construction workers in New York and NYC must be provided with sufficient safety devices to perform their jobs, including, but not limited to, work materials and a controlled working environment. Failure to comply on any level, and the responsible party is liable for the construction worker’s sustained losses and harms.

What does this mean? In essence, if you are injured in a construction-related accident in New York, if the accident is in any way due to the building owners’, contractors’, or your employers’ failure to provide a safe work environment, they are at fault and you may be legally entitled to compensation.

Finding the attorney that’s right for YOU

However unique your case, you will want someone who specializes in construction-related injuries, has a proven track record in New York City, and who will fight for you every step of the way. In short: You want the best workers’ comp representation available.

For more than thirty-five years, Schwartzapfel® Lawyers has successfully helped thousands of clients get the money and benefits they are entitled to. We are proud of our hundreds of 5-star Google Reviews and 99% client satisfaction record, and we have every incentive to get you the largest settlement or verdict possible, as quickly as possible, because if we don’t win your case you owe us nothing.

So if you or a loved one works in construction or has suffered an eye injury in a construction-related accident in NYC, take action today and call us now at 1-800-966-4999.

To learn more about your rights and how to protect them, please visit our website or call 1-800-966-4999 today.


Life-changing accidents. Life-saving results.

Harry Roman

After an accident on a job site, his passion and livelihood was taken away in a matter of seconds. Schwartzapfel® Lawyers helped him get a second chance at life.

Craig McKee

Loyal for years in a New York union, Craig McKee worked hard to provide for his family. Once he was injured, his union turned their backs on him and he had to fight for what is right.

John Strika

Once he fell, shattered his wrist and blew out his back, his general contractor refused to help. He needed a team to fight for him. He needed Schwartzapfel® Lawyers.


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If you have sustained an injury, you likely have many questions. Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C. can explain the legal process and help you get the money and benefits you’re entitled to.

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