What should you do for a work-related eye burn?

On Behalf of | Oct 28, 2019 | Firm News

Each of your eyes is an extremely specialized and complex organ. Your eye is also quite delicate, and a number of hazards in your Florida workplace have the potential to cause a burn of the eye. Obviously, exposure to excessive heat can cause burning, but eye burns can also occur due to exposure chemicals, such as bleach, cleaning agents and even something seemingly innocuous, such as vinegar. 

According to WebMD, an eye burn can result in long-term vision problems or eye damage. However, you can reduce this risk with quick and appropriate action in response to the burn. 1

1. Rinse your eyes

Do this as soon as you can, and continue for 15 to 20 minutes. Your workplace may have eyewash stations available, or you can use an eyewash kit or saline solution if you happen to have either handy. 

If not, head to the nearest sink or shower and pour the water over the bridge of your nose. Depending on which way you move your head, it will run into either or both eyes. You can also dunk your entire face into a pan or sink filled with water. 

2. Watch the water temperature

Warm or hot water may make matters worse. Ensure the temperature of the water is cool before you start rinsing. 

3. Be aware of blinking

As you rinse your eyes, you should make a conscious effort to blink them. This helps to force the water into every part of your eye so that you get a thorough rinsing. If something prevents you from blinking, you can use your fingers to lift your eyelids manually. Your instinctive response to the pain may be to keep your eyes closed, but that can actually worsen the damage. 

You should also know that blinking is your normal response to an eye injury. This means that the burn may also affect your eyelid(s). 

4. Wait to remove contacts

Rinsing your eyes after a burn should be your first course of action. If you wear contact lenses, remove them while you are rinsing your eyes. Do not remove the contacts first and then start rinsing. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.