Some common workplace eye injuries and how to address them

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2023 | Construction Accidents

Construction work is one of the toughest jobs in New York. Because of the dangerous nature of the job, eye injuries are more likely to occur. These are some common ones and some ways to respond to them.

Chemical burns

Some construction accidents can cause harmful chemicals to fly into a worker’s eyes. This can lead to blindness; the damage caused by direct contact with chemicals can be irreversible. While eyewash stations should be available on sites, this is not always the case. Portable eye saline bottles included in first aid kits are a better option in that situation.

Foreign bodies

Construction workers can suffer from eye injuries when foreign bodies fly around. Wood or cement chips, metal fragments and other airborne particles can cause eye redness, tearing and irritation. A worker can also suffer from a corneal scratch or tear. Sometimes, it’s easy to remove a foreign body, but other times, it may be so tiny that it has to be flushed out. Eyewash stations, artificial tears and even water may help.

Eye trauma

Eye trauma occurs when a worker suffers a direct blow to the eye. This can happen with a tool or equipment and lead to pain, swelling and even damage to the bones around the eye. If this happens, acting quickly and covering the eye to protect it can help while on the way to receive immediate medical attention.


Penetration injuries occur when an object actually pierces the eye. This is a serious injury that can be permanent. Avoid removing the object; only a medical professional should attempt that.


Dust is the least serious hazard to workers’ eyes, but it’s also common on construction sites. It can cause irritation, redness, tearing and allergic symptoms in some. Eyewashes or tearing up can eliminate dust from the eye.

Any eye injury could potentially become more serious. Proper protective gear like goggles can help prevent them.