If you sustain an eye injury while at work, your lawyer will check to see if a case can be brought under the Industrial Code. Industrial Code 23-1.8 provides in part that construction workers be provided with approved eye protection equipment. If you are not provided with eye protection and you sustain an eye injury, you can receive compensation.
In a recent case on point, a construction worker hired a lawyer when he sustained an eye injury. His supervisor told him to use “helldog” to break up rocks to make way for sewage pipes. While he used helldogs at previous jobs, he never used one with an external trigger. The helldog was two feet long and weighed twenty-five pounds. An air-compressor powered the helldog.
When a worker presses its trigger, the helldog bit strikes out and breaks up the rock. On the day of the accident, the worker attempted to change the helldog bit while it was still connected to the air compressor. When he attempted to change the bit, he held the helldog upside down. As he tried to insert the new pin, the piston flew out and struck him violently in the face. He claimed that he followed the same process earlier that day without incident. While he wore the safety glasses that his employer provided, he still sustained serious injuries to his eye and nose. Specifically, he required surgery to repair the cornea of his injured eye. The eye injury lawyer noted this caused permanent damage
He sued the City and the general contractor (the defendants). Among other claims, the worker claimed they violated Industrial Code 23-1.8. His lawyer argued that the violation of the Industrial Code caused his eye injury. Following discovery, the defendants moved to dismiss his case. They argued that he was the sole cause of his eye injury accident. They also argued that he was provided proper eye protection under the Industrial Code.
The worker opposed the defendants motion. First, with regard to the sole cause argument, the Court found a question of fact as to whether the defendants and his employer acted negligently in failing to train him on the external trigger helldog. The Court also did not buy defendants’ argument about the Industrial Code. While the worker used safety glasses, the Court questioned whether a face shield would have been appropriate under the circumstances. Certainly, the worker’s lawyer could argue at trial that a face shield could prevent this eye injury.
The defendants’ motion was thus denied. The case proceeded to trial. While eye injury cases are rare, they can cause severe damage and change a person’s life in an instant. If you sustain a serious eye injury, do not hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer