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Five accidents that can cause industrial blindness

Accidents that can cause industrial blindness are devastating, both to the victim and to their families and loved ones. Losing your sight over time is bad enough, but to lose it suddenly as the result of an accident is surely even worse. The shock of the accident is hard to cope with, and the person’s life will change in an instant, never to be the same again.

Thankfully, accidents that can cause industrial blindness are extremely rare. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was created specifically to prevent workers from being put at risk in their workplaces. The Act covers many different areas, and ensures people can work safely without worrying about their health and well-being. Of course, common sense also applies, and together these two things have reduced accidents of all kinds in the workplace by an incredible amount.

Despite the rareness of accidents that can cause industrial blindness, there are circumstances in which injuries that could lead to this outcome could potentially occur. Let’s look at some of those instances here.

Chemicals splashed in the eyes

Chemicals are used in many workplaces. These and other liquids can be dangerous if they get on the skin, or are ingested, or splashed into the eyes. This could easily happen if proper care isn’t taken to prevent it.

Among all the accidents that can cause industrial blindness, this is a good example of how easy it is to avoid such an injury. The Health and Safety Executive provides a good amount of information on personal protective equipment – otherwise known more simply as PPE. Your job, whatever you may do, should be risk-assessed to identify any risks associated with it. These include the risk of any chemicals or other foreign bodies getting into the eyes.

If such a risk did exist, you should be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure your sight is protected.

Head injuries

Head injuries range in severity from minor bumps to major head trauma that can be potentially life threatening. While you may not immediately think of head injuries as being among the accidents that can cause industrial blindness, they can potentially lead to a loss of sight, either partial or total.

Getting immediate medical attention is vital for serious head injuries, and it is wise to be checked out if you have suffered a minor head injury at work, too. Getting urgent help if you suffer any loss of sight is imperative, as it is for any other serious symptoms such as loss of consciousness, failing senses or memory loss. If in doubt, get medical help. Head injuries can appear minor and then worsen very quickly, in some instances.

Heat or light damage

We’ve all experienced situations where we accidentally look at a bright light or the sun dazzles us. We can temporarily lose our sight in these situations, but if you work in a setting where bright lights are used, you could eventually suffer eye damage if you did not have proper protection.

The best example of this would be a welder who regularly welds metals together and thus is exposed to the heat and light sparking from the equipment they use. Hence PPE in the shape of a welder’s mask would be vital in preventing accidents that can cause industrial blindness in this job. The HSE website provides information aimed at those concerned with health and safety in the welding industry, and it sheds more light on how important this is.

Foreign objects in the eyes

Anything that goes into one or both eyes could potentially damage the sight. This could be from dust, dirt, glass, or any other foreign body. Sometimes, it is possible to wash out the eyes using an eye bath, but if something is embedded in the eye, immediate emergency medical care should always be sought. Never try to remove it yourself, as you could worsen the situation.


Some jobs involve working with heat, flames or other hot objects. This could be anything from molten metals to working in a bakery. Again, it is always very important to ensure proper medical attention is sought, even if the burns are not serious. While superficial burns don’t normally require medical attention, this doesn’t apply when the burns are on the face and have blistered. If they are near the eyes, the individual should always get medical attention.

How much compensation is typically paid in cases like these?

There is no typical amount, because no two accidents at work will ever be identical. Even if you find information about the compensation other people received, it may be different to what may apply to you, if you can claim.

So, while you may be tempted to try online calculators to come up with an amount, remember the actual amount you could potentially receive depends on your own personal situation and injury. You can speak with an advisor from our team to determine whether a personal injury lawyer could accept your case, and if so, this would be on a no win no fee basis. Thus, you have no need to worry about the potential financial implications, as no fees would be due to solicitors if we did not conclude your claim in your favour. This sounds very complex, but our friendly advisors can take you through how things work, so you’ll be confident in moving ahead.

Claiming for accidents that can cause industrial blindness

If you have suffered one of the accidents that can cause industrial blindness, do remember to call Accident Advice Helpline at your earliest convenience. This should always be within three years of the original accident, so it does not need to be done immediately. Your priority will be to get the medical help you need, and to see what the prognosis might be. However, you can phone Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 5659, to discuss potential compensation that could be awarded for a partial or total loss of sight in an industrial accident.