Welding is a dangerous occupation with a high risk of serious and fatal injuries. The use of extremely high temperatures to melt metals exposes welders to the risk of burns, respiratory problems, eye injuries, and even death. Eye injuries can be devastating to a worker’s ability to continue earning a living and quality of life. All welders should be aware of the safety hazards inherent to their occupation and the proper safety precautions that should be taken to prevent injury.
Eye Injuries Common to Welders
Some of the most common eye injuries suffered by welders include:
- Corneal abrasions or scratches on the cornea: These can occur when flying debris, such as metal, dust, or wood, get in the eye.
- Photochemical and flash burns: These happen when the eye is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, infrared radiation, and intense blue light. Eye injuries are very painful, but are often temporary and reversible. Other types of burns, particularly those from infrared and bright light radiation, can cause permanent damage to the retina.
- Chemical burns: This includes irritation from chemicals and fumes
- Trauma to the eye: A blow to the eye from debris or equipment can cause punctures, bleeding, lid lacerations, orbital wall fractures, and traumatic iritis.
Any of the above eye injuries can result in vision loss or blindness. Studies have also shown that welders can suffer cumulative damage from exposure to radiation.
Preventing Eye Injuries in Welders
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial for protecting a welder’s eyes. Both helmets with safety shields and safety goggles/glasses with side shields should be worn as sparks can make their way underneath a helmet. Helmets come with either fixed or variable shades and should be chosen according to the welding task at hand. Helmet shades are also rated on a darkness scale of nine to 14, with 14 being darkest.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Eye Injuries
In Pennsylvania, workers who suffer an injury on the job are covered by workers’ compensation. This includes work-related eye injuries. If you are injured in a work-related accident, you should notify your employer immediately and seek medical treatment. A successful claim for workers’ compensation can help cover the cost of any reasonable medical expenses, including hospital stays and medications. Wage loss benefits are available if you miss work due to your eye injury and specific loss benefits are paid to those who suffer a serious and permanent disfigurement of the head, face, or neck. Consult with a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer who can assist you with filing a claim for benefits.
Downingtown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney, LLC Recover Compensation for Welders with Eye Injuries
An eye injury can seriously compromise your ability to work and enjoy life. If you suffered an eye injury at your welding job, you may be eligible for compensation. The experienced Downingtown workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney, LLC will fight to obtain the maximum compensation available for your case. Contact us today at 610-594-1600 to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we proudly represent injured workers throughout Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.