Handling eye injuries in the workplace

Semi-truck driver standing off the driver's side door

Whether an injury is suffered at the workplace, playing sports, or from doing projects around the home, it is extremely important to be able to recognize an eye injury when it happens.

You should seek medical attention immediately if you or someone you know has the following symptoms:

  • Pain or difficulty seeing
  • The pupil is of an unusual size or shape
  • A cut or torn eyelid
  • Blood is evident in the eye
  • One eye moves differently or not as well as the other
  • An object is in the eye or under the lid and is not easily removable
  • One eye protrudes more than the other

Know what to do

A great way to reduce damage is to know the proper first aid steps to take. If you or a person has some sort of speck or particle in the eye, do not rub the eye. The eye should be thoroughly flushed out with water to wash away the particle. If the irritation and redness do not subside, you should call your eye doctor.

What should you do if there is a cut, puncture, or foreign object in the eye? Again, it is imperative not to rub the eye. You should also not make any attempts to remove any objects lodged in your eye. And most importantly, seek medical attention right away.

Chemical burns are particularly dangerous. Open the eye as wide as possible and, using any drinkable water, begin flushing the eye out for at least 15 minutes. Get medical care right away. If a basic or caustic solution caused the burn, continue to flush your eye all the way to your doctor or emergency room.

Preventing work-related eye injuries

About 90% of all injuries can be avoided. How? By simply wearing the appropriate protective, shatter-resistant eyewear.

Sources: All About Vision, AAO, AOA, Glaucoma.org, NIH.gov

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