Vision disorders related to on-the-job accidents or conditions are very common. The eye is a delicate organ, and many workplace conditions can cause eye injuries, which in turn can lead to vision disorders. California’s workers’ compensation program allows workers with vision disorders to seek benefits, whether the disorder is the result of one single event or the result of repeated activities over time.
Every workplace contains potential for eye injuries, although such injuries are more common in industrial or manufacturing settings. Common workplace eye injuries that may lead to vision disorders include:
- scratches or irritation to the cornea;
- metal particles embedded in the eye;
- chemical splashes or burns;
- burns from welder’s flash;
- facial bruises, black eyes, or damage to the bones surrounding the eyes; and
- exposure to viruses or other diseases
The causes of eye injuries vary depending on the workplace. Many eye injuries are caused by one or more of the following:
- Particles of dust, metal, or concrete that become lodged in the eye
- Moving debris, including glass shards
- Smoke and other noxious or poisonous gases
- Chemicals, whether solid, liquid, or gas
- Welding lights and electrical arcs
- Fires and other heat-related hazards
- Bloodborne pathogens, like those that cause hepatitis or HIV
Long-Term Vision Disorders
An injury may cause or lead to a vision disorder in a single event. Many workers, however, will develop vision disorders due to work even without any single accident causing damage to the eye. Office workers, for instance, face an increased risk of eyestrain because their jobs typically involve long hours staring at a computer screen and/or paper documents. Over time, they may develop near-sightedness or other vision disorders.
Workers who need their eyes to do regular close-up, fine work also face an increased risk of vision disorders. For instance, those who do sewing or who work with small electronic or motorized parts are at an increased risk for vision disorders brought on by repeated eyestrain. Regular short breaks to rest the eyes can help, but for long-term worker vision care, workstations must be set up to minimize the stress on the employee’s eyes and to promote proper eye health, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
How vision disorders affect a worker’s ability to stay on the job varies, depending on the type of disorder involved and the work the person ordinarily does. Many mild or moderate eye injuries heal sufficiently in a few days to allow a worker to return to work, according to the AHRQ. Eyestrain or other vision disorders developed over the long term can be slowed by changing the damaging conditions or making sure employees have and use corrective lenses and other eyestrain-reducing tools as needed. Some vision disorders may eliminate a worker’s ability to stay on the job, particularly if partial or total blindness results.
Ensuring You Get the Benefits You Deserve in Southern California
Most people rely on their eyes to provide 80% of the total sensory input they receive, according to the AHRQ. When vision is impaired or reduced, adjusting to the change in sensory information can be difficult. That’s why hard-working Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney Kenton Koszdin is dedicated to helping injured workers get the workers’ compensation benefits they need after a vision disorder sets in. Our lawyers will make sure that you aren’t denied benefits or given less than you deserve. For a free, confidential consultation, call Kenton Koszdin Law Office today.