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What should I do if I get chemicals in my eyes at work?

If you work with chemicals, it is all too easy to suffer an eye injury. This could happen if you unknowingly get a chemical on your hands and you rub your eyes or if a chemical splashes into your eyes while being poured. It is even possible for chemicals you are mixing together to have an explosive reaction, splattering the chemicals into your face. But regardless of how it happens, once you get chemicals in your eyes it is vital that you rinse with water immediately.

Work environments in which employees must regularly handle chemicals should have an eyewash station or other means of cleansing eyes to prevent permanent damage. As such, you need to take note of the locations of the eyewash stations at your place of work. You should also understand how to flush your eyes properly, which involves taking the following steps:

  • If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them as they can trap contaminants and keep the water from doing its job.
  • Turn on the water, and leave it running until you are completely finished cleaning your eyes.
  • Don't let your eyes close. Rather, hold them open and let the water flow directly over them.
  • Do not rub your eyes as doing so could push the contaminants deep and cause further damage.
  • Keep flushing your eyes for 15 minutes.

Once you have finished rinsing, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Based on the severity of your injuries, you may require treatment or be forced to take some time off from work. In a worse case scenario, you may even suffer permanent vision loss. To get benefits appropriate for your injuries, you may want to contact a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney. An attorney can help you complete your claim in an effort to get you your benefits as soon as possible.

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