Over $1 Billion Won
For Our Clients

Workplace Blindness & Eye Injuries

In 2020, there were over 18,500 workplace accidents or incidents that resulted in some type of eye injury that resulted in a worker being away from work for at least one day, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The vast majority of these workplace eye injuries were caused by contact with equipment or some type of object.

While a notable number of workplace accidents or incidents of this nature result in relatively minimal eye injury, in an alarming number of cases, a worker suffers significant eye damage and even blindness. If you or a loved one have suffered eye injury as the result of a jobsite incident, a Houston workplace accident attorney at The Doan Law Firm is here for you at (800) 349-0000. In addition, we take a moment to provide you with some essential information about workplace accidents that result in eye damage or blindness.

Most Commonplace Workplace Accidents that Result in Eye Injuries and Blindness

A moment ago, we discussed the most commonplace types of worksite accident that results in eye damage or blindness: contact with objects or equipment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 18,510 incidents that resulted in eye injury or blindness were of this nature in 2020. The other most frequently occurring types of accident in the workplace that result in eye damage or blindness are:

  • Exposure to harmful substances or hazardous environments
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Work-related motor vehicle accidents
  • Exposure to Harmful Substances or Hazardous Environments
  • Fires and explosions
  • Accidents involving tools
  • Lack of proper personal protective equipment or PPE
  • Lack of proper training
  • Inadequate supervision

Exposure to Harmful Substances or Hazardous Environments

This category includes situations where workers are exposed to chemicals, dust, or radiation that can cause serious eye injuries or blindness. Such exposure is particularly prevalent in industries like construction, manufacturing, or healthcare where the likelihood of encountering such harmful substances is high. The risk is especially significant for individuals who do not have proper protective gear or are unaware of the potential hazards.

Contact with Objects and Equipment

This refers to incidents where particles such as metal slivers, wood chips, or even dust can enter and damage the eyes. Such circumstances are common in industries like woodworking, metalworking, and environments where heavy machinery is used. Workers in these industries must be particularly careful and always wear protective goggles to prevent such injuries.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

These incidents can result in eye injuries if an individual falls into or onto something that penetrates the eye. These accidents are often seen in environments with slippery surfaces, cluttered workspaces, or inadequate lighting. Falling onto sharp objects can lead to severe eye injuries and even blindness. It is, therefore, essential to maintain clean and well-lit work environments.

Work-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents

Workers who operate vehicles or heavy equipment are at risk of eye injuries from crashes, flying glass, or airbags. These injuries can be significant and lead to long-term vision problems or blindness. Employers need to ensure that their workers are well-trained in safety procedures and always use seat belts and other protective equipment. A car accident attorney in Houston may be able to help if you suffer eye-related injuries in a preventable workplace collision.

Fires and Explosions

These accidents can cause severe burns to the eyes and surrounding areas, leading to blindness or other serious eye injuries. Industries dealing with flammable substances or explosives are particularly at risk. Regular safety checks, correct storage of flammable materials, and proper training of staff can help prevent such incidents.

Accidents Involving Tools

Tools, both small hand tools and larger power tools, can be a common source of eye injuries in the workplace. These tools can cause serious damage to the eye if not used correctly or if safety measures are not taken. Workers should always wear protective eyewear when using such tools.

Lack of Proper Personal Protective Equipment or PPE

This category includes situations where workers are not wearing appropriate eye protection when it is needed. This can result in serious eye injuries from chemical splashes, flying debris, or intense light. Employers are responsible for ensuring that all workers have access to and use the appropriate personal protective equipment.

Lack of Proper Training

Unfortunately, time and again, employees are not provided proper, comprehensive training that would aid in preventing or avoiding accidents that cause eye injury in the first instance. It is important to note that proper training needs to occur on an ongoing basis and not just when a new employee is “onboarded” into the workplace.

Inadequate Supervision

On a somewhat related note, another underlying cause of eye injury and blindness causing workplace accidents is a failure of management to provide proper supervision of workers. Indeed, inadequate supervision oftentimes is noted in situations in which one or another of the accident causes discussed in this article are also present.

Most Frequently Occurring Types of Eye Damage Sustained in the Workplace

As mentioned previously, eye damage from workplace accidents runs the gambit, from rather minor to extremely severe. With that in mind, the most common types of eye damage arising from workplace accidents in Texas and across the United States include:

  • Scratches and abrasions
  • Foreign objects in the eye
  • Chemical burns
  • Thermal burns
  • Penetrating Injuries
  • Blunt trauma
  • Radiation exposure

Scratches and Abrasions

These are common injuries that can happen when small particles like dust, sand, or tiny fragments of materials, often encountered in construction or woodworking environments, get into the eye. These particles can scratch the cornea, causing discomfort, redness, watering, and sometimes blurred vision. If not treated properly, these minor injuries can lead to infections.

Foreign Objects in the Eye

This can include anything from splinters to metal shavings that may lodge in the eye during tasks such as hammering or grinding. Depending on the size, location, and material of the foreign body, these objects can cause serious damage if not removed promptly and properly. Symptoms can range from irritation and redness to severe pain and vision loss.

Chemical Burns

These injuries can occur when harmful substances like acids or alkalis, commonly used in industries such as cleaning, manufacturing, or agriculture, come into contact with the eye. The severity of the injury typically depends on the nature of the chemical involved. Immediate and thorough washing of the eye and prompt medical treatment is crucial in these cases to prevent permanent damage.

Thermal Burns

These are burns that result from exposure to extreme heat or fire, typically seen in occupations involving welding, cooking, or handling of flammable substances. Thermal burns can cause severe pain, redness, blurring, and damage to the eye and surrounding tissues. In severe cases, it can lead to vision loss.

Penetrating Injuries

These refer to injuries where an object penetrates the eye. This can happen in a variety of occupations, such as construction, metalworking, or even in office settings where sharp objects are handled. Depending on the severity, penetrating injuries can cause serious damage to the eye structures and potentially lead to loss of vision.

Blunt Trauma

This can occur when the eye is struck with a blunt object, such as tools, machinery, or even flying debris. The impact can cause bruising, swelling, and potentially serious eye damage, including retinal detachment or orbital fractures.

Radiation Exposure

This can occur as a result of exposure to certain types of radiation, such as UV or infrared radiation. This is commonly seen in jobs involving welding or prolonged exposure to sunlight. Long-term exposure can lead to conditions like cataracts, pterygium, and other serious eye conditions.

Elements of a Workplace Negligence Claim for Eye Injury or Blindness

An understandable question in regard to workplace accident eye injuries is what legally is required to make a claim. A workplace accident injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000 can provide you more information in this regard and answer any questions you may have. With that noted, there are four primary elements of a workplace accident eye injury claim:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty of care
  • Causation (breach caused accident resulting in injury)
  • Actual injury, damage, or loss

Duty of Care

The foundation of any negligence claim is the establishment of a duty of care. In this case, it is the responsibility of the employer to create a safe working environment for the employee. This duty is a legal obligation that is recognized in the law, requiring the employer to adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others.

Breach of Duty

Once a duty of care has been established, the next element to prove negligence is a breach of that duty. A breach occurs when the standard of care is not met, in this case, if the employer failed to ensure the safety of the employee. This could involve both acts and omissions, such as failing to provide necessary safety equipment or not enforcing safety protocols.


The third element involves proving that the employer’s breach of duty directly resulted in the employee’s eye injury. This is often the most challenging part of a negligence case, as it requires showing a direct link between the employer’s action (or lack thereof) and the injury sustained by the employee.

Actual Damage

Finally, for the negligence claim to be successful, the plaintiff must demonstrate that they suffered some sort of harm as a result of the injury. In this case, the employee’s eye injury would need to have resulted in quantifiable damage. This could be physical harm, financial loss (such as medical bills or lost wages), or emotional distress.

Your Legal Rights After a Workplace Accident

The first step in protecting your legal rights following a workplace accident, including one resulting in eye damage or blindness, is to contact The Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000. We can arrange a no-cost and no-obligation initial consultation at your convenience.

The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee pledge to you. Our firm will never charge a fee unless we win your case for you.

Contact Us
Request Your Free Consultation and Our Lawyer Will Contact You Within 1 Hour

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

* Required Field