Can I Receive Workers Comps for an Eye Injury?

Eye injuries are not all that uncommon in the workplace. Safety measures that include washing your hands, wearing safety glasses or goggles, or shields that protect your face can decrease the amount of injuries, however, pretty much any job contains the risk of an eye injury.

  • Computer work. There is a medical disorder that is caused by continuously staring at a computer screen called Digital Eye Strain, or Computer Vision Syndrome. The symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, shoulder and neck pain. For most people, these symptoms go away, but for some it can get worse or just keep recurring.
  • Tiny fragments in the eye. If you work at a job where there may be a lot of debris or particles in the air because of the nature of the task (i.e. construction, welding), your eye could get scratched or you could suffer an abrasion.
  • Infection. An infection in your eye can occur if you are exposed to blood or other bodily functions.
  • Radiation. Exposure to ultraviolet lights or radiation can cause damage to your eyes
  • Exposure to Chemicals. Cleaners or other liquids that splash or have toxic fumes can damage your eyes if you are exposed to these chemicals on a regular basis.

If you work in any of the following professions, you should be aware that there is the possibility of eye injury and take the precautions necessary to avoid getting injured. Some of these occupations include:

  • Welders
  • Construction workers
  • Janitors
  • Veterinary workers and others who handle animals
  • Office workers
  • Janitors
  • Laboratory workers
  • Anyone who works in a hospital including doctors, nurses and technicians
  • Daycare workers
  • Nursing home caregivers

If you do suffer an injury to your eye while you are at work, be sure to get the proper medical attention and check to see if where you work offers workers’ compensation.

It is imperative that you document and report your injury to your employer and seek medical care as soon as possible for your injury. It doesn’t have to be a serious an injury, like blindness, to recover workers’ compensation. Blindness is frequently considered  a catastrophic injury and is possibly handled in a different manner than other forms of eye injuries in the workplace.

If you have suffered from an eye injury caused in your workplace, you should consult with an attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation claims. You may be entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses, income lost because of your injury, and if necessary, permanent disability benefits. Your lawyer can work with you to make sure you get compensated for your injury and that you have access to the appropriate medical care to enable you to recover as much as possible.

Of course, you should always be aware of the possible risks associated with the work you are performing and take the required precautions to avoid eye injuries whenever you can. However, some injuries, like the ones obtained while using your computer are not that cut and dry. Consult with your human resources department to see if workers’ compensation is an option. If you are not satisfied with their answer, consult a Hauppage NY workers comp lawyer.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Workers Comp NY for their insight into workers compensation.