On August 21, a total solar eclipse took place and was visible throughout the U.S. This was the first total solar eclipse visible across the United States since 1979. The eclipse drew widespread interest as many looked to the skies to take in this rare event. Occurring mid-day on a Monday, many employers hosted solar eclipse viewing parties at the workplace.
However, some employers may not have been aware of the safety guidelines provided by NASA and did not provide the correct ISO 12312-2 compliant eyewear for the occasion.
Eye injuries sustained by workers at an employer-sponsored solar eclipse viewing party may be covered under the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance plan.
Exposing your eyes to the sun without proper eye protection during a solar eclipse may cause “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns, also known as solar retinopathy. This exposure to the sun’s rays can damage or even destroy cells in the retina that transmit the images to the brain. This damage, while not painful, can be temporary or permanent. It can take up to a few days after the eclipse to realize the damage has occurred.
Employees who have experienced any of these symptoms after viewing the solar eclipse should be seen by an eye doctor immediately.
Employees who have sustained an eye injury at a work-sponsored solar eclipse viewing party have a right to seek Workers’ Compensation benefits. These benefits include payment of medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and a portion of lost wages.
To receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, you must report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. It is also important to see an eye specialist and keep records of all appointments and treatments you received. If your employer’s insurance company denies your claim, you are strongly advised to seek a Workers’ Compensation lawyer in Monmouth County for assistance.
If you have suffered an eye injury at work, contact an experienced Monmouth County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. by calling 732-493-9400, or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
We assist clients in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Mercer County, as well as those in Colts Neck, Rumson, Deal, Monmouth Beach, Little Silver, Freehold, Manalapan, Marlboro, Howell, Jackson, Asbury Park, Middletown, and Holmdel.