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What Is The Number One Cause Of Eye Injuries For Construction Workers?

Eye Injuries

In New York City and across the state, construction sites are hubs of activity. Beneath the productive chaos, however, lurks the constant risk of serious injury.

In these industrial environments, workers are exposed to various risks, with eye injuries posing a significant threat due to the dangerous nature of much of the construction work being performed. Moreover, the eyes are one of the most vulnerable areas of the human body. Sadly, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that thousands of construction workers suffer eye injuries each year, ranging from minor irritations to life-changing traumas and even permanent vision loss.

The silver lining in all of this, if there is one to be found, is that the vast majority of these injuries are entirely preventable. Simple eye protection measures can mean the difference between going home with a full day’s pay and heading to the emergency room.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident in New York State, you need to know your rights. To better understand them now, contact the experienced New York attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers either online or by calling 516-342-2200 for a free consultation. Alternatively, please continue reading.

What Are Common Causes Of Construction Site Eye Injuries?

Maybe you’ve been fortunate thus far, avoiding hazards like flying nails, chemical splashes, and rogue tools. However, luck can quickly turn on a NYC construction site.

Understanding the primary causes of eye injuries is absolutely essential for protecting your vision.

So, what is the leading cause of eye injuries among construction workers? Let’s explore.

1. Failure To Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Opting out of protective eyewear is the single most common recipe for disaster on a construction site. Sure, it might seem like an extra hassle, but those goggles, safety glasses, or face shields are your best defense against the barrage of hazards that exist on construction sites.

2. Building Materials

Construction involves a whirlwind of materials. Sawdust, metal shavings, tiny fragments of concrete — all it takes is a gust of wind or the wrong movement to send these particles flying directly into your eyes. The result? Irritation, scratches, or even worse, objects becoming embedded in the eye itself.

3. Blunt Force Trauma

A dropped tool, a swinging beam, or even a misplaced elbow can pack enough force to cause serious damage to your eyes. Far worse than a black eye, blunt force trauma can fracture the delicate bones around your eye socket, detach the retina, or rupture the eyeball itself.

4. Toxic Chemicals

Construction sites often involve an array of chemicals, like paints, solvents, adhesives, acids, and more. A splash, a spill, or even fumes can cause severe chemical burns to the eyes. Without warning, these substances can inflict damage that leads to long-term vision problems or blindness.

Bottom line: Eye injuries on construction sites can happen in an instant. One moment of carelessness, or even being the victim of someone else’s negligence, can have devastating consequences. Proper eye protection is no casual recommendation; it’s a non-negotiable part of staying safe on the job.

To learn more now at no charge, please call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today. No matter your situation, it will be our honor and privilege to fight for you!

What Types Of Eye Injuries Occur On Construction Sites?

The consequences of an eye injury on a construction site go far beyond a few days of discomfort. Let’s take a closer look at the types of damage that can occur and why seeking immediate medical attention is so important:

  • Eyelid Lacerations: Sharp tools, flying debris, or falls can lead to cuts on your eyelids. While minor lacerations might heal quickly, deeper cuts can damage the delicate structures responsible for blinking and tear production, leading to long-term discomfort and vision problems.
  • Iris Inflammation: The iris is the colored part of your eye that controls how much light enters. A penetrating injury or chemical burn can cause it to become inflamed, leading to pain, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light.
  • Bone Fractures Around the Eye: The bones surrounding your eye socket are surprisingly fragile. A strong impact can cause fractures that not only create severe pain but can also trap nerves and muscles, affecting your eye movement and vision.
  • Hyperemia: Hyperemia is the medical term for bloodshot eyes. While this is sometimes a minor issue due to dust or irritation, it can also signal a severe injury or infection within the eye.
  • Corneal Damage: The cornea is the transparent outer layer of your eye. Scratches, abrasions, or chemical burns to the cornea are excruciatingly painful and can compromise your vision. In severe cases, corneal damage can lead to permanent scarring or the need for a corneal transplant.

An eye injury isn’t something you should just shrug off. Its impact can ripple through your life in tons of ways. You could face reduced or lost vision, making it impossible to continue your construction career. The cost of medical treatment, both immediate and ongoing, can become a crippling financial burden.

The emotional toll, including pain, frustration, and the fear of losing your sight, can be equally devastating. So, please, if you or a loved one has suffered an eye injury on the job or while in the performance of job-related duties, don’t try to tough it out.

Seek medical attention right away and, once stabilized, contact the skilled New York construction attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers without delay. Simply dial 516-342-2200 or visit us online to set up your free consultation and learn how we can protect your legal rights and financial interests.

Why Is Eye Protection Important?

You may not have experienced a significant eye injury at work (and hopefully, you never will). However, do you know someone who has? Whether a coworker, friend, or family member, the impact of eye injuries hits closer to home when considering those in your life. As such, it is positively critical to discuss eye protection, not just for yourself but also for those who depend on you.

The “Just This Once” Mentality

We all rush a task for the sake of time or convenience from time to time. However, when it comes to your eyes, even one lapse in judgment can be one too many. Whether it’s a coworker cutting a metal pipe across the site or a chemical solution accidentally sprayed nearby, you don’t always see the danger coming.

Eye Injury Statistics

Each year in the U.S., approximately (20,000) construction workers suffer eye injuries that require medical attention. Of those, many endure permanent vision loss or disability. These aren’t just statistics on a page; they’re real people whose lives have been changed forever.

Why Workers Don’t Wear PPE

While most recognize the importance of safety gear, one wonders, why is there sometimes resistance to using it? Is it due to discomfort, such as fogging glasses or slipping nosepieces? Or, is it that it seems excessive for a “quick task” here and there? Whatever the rationale, enduring momentary discomfort or hesitation is not worth jeopardizing your vision.

The Value Of Sight

Take a moment and try to imagine your life without sight. How would you do your job? Drive? Manage the world around you? The simple joys of life, like watching your kids play or seeing a beautiful sunset, would be replaced by darkness. Your eyes are irreplaceable. Don’t risk injuring them.

Now, let’s shift focus from the “what if” to the “how to.” In the next section, we share actionable steps that construction site owners and workers can take to prevent these devastating injuries.

How Can You Prevent Eye Injuries On Construction Sites?

Safety on a construction site isn’t all about individual choices. Site owners and managers have a legal and moral responsibility to protect their workers. To this end, the following are but a few examples of where they must take action to make safe workplaces for all:

  • Hazard Identification: Every site should be thoroughly assessed to pinpoint potential eye injury risks. This includes the obvious hazards as well as the less noticeable ones specific to the tasks being performed.
  • Providing the Right PPE: Simply having eye protection on hand isn’t enough. Gear needs to be matched to the specific dangers, like safety glasses for debris, goggles for chemical splashes, and face shields for heavy-duty work.
  • Enforcing Use: Rules are useless if they’re not followed. Site owners need to set clear expectations for PPE use and consistently enforce those standards.
  • Training and Education: Workers need to understand not just the “what” of eye protection but the “why.” Training should cover the types of injuries that can happen, how to choose the right PPE, and the potentially devastating consequences of skipping those safety glasses.

By now, it should be clear that eye protection on a construction site is a necessity. By taking these preventive measures, site owners and managers create a workplace where workers can feel confident that their vision — and, by extension, their livelihoods — are being protected.

Call On Schwartzapfel Lawyers To Fight For You!

An eye injury is an emergency. Every minute counts in preventing further damage or vision loss. As such, you should never rely on self-diagnosis or simply “waiting it out.” Instead, you must be proactive; get to a doctor or emergency room right away, and follow their instructions carefully, even if your symptoms improve quickly.

The injury could seem minor at first, but complications can and often do arise later on. Here, an experienced construction accident attorney can protect your rights and get you financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

Your future is too important to leave to chance. So, please, don’t wait until it’s too late. Instead, act now and call the skilled New York construction accident attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or schedule your free consultation online today. One call may save you miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the road.

What’s more, no matter your situation, it will be our honor and privilege to fight – and win! – for you. Call now!

DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 516-342-2200 now!


Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

Protecting your eyes at work | AOA

Foreign object in eye: What to do | Medical News Today

Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Data | U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Eye and Face Protection – Overview | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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