|Year : 1968 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 192-195
Ocular problems in cotton industry
Elgin Mills, Kanpur, India
|Date of Web Publication||24-Dec-2007|
A S Divatia
Elgin Mills, Kanpur
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Divatia A S. Ocular problems in cotton industry. Indian J Ophthalmol 1968;16:192-5
Kanpur has got the largest number of textile mills in the state and several thousand labourers are employed in them. The study of the "Ocular Problems in Cotton Industry" has been undertaken, to study and analyse the immense amount of clinical. material available, for the benefit, both of the employees and the employers.
The various aspects of Industrial Opthalmology namely, injuries, effects of illumination for a particular job, the space alloted for the job and ventilation, etc., have been discussed by various workers in recent years. Out of all these, prime importance has been given to various industrial hazards in various types of industries. Despite the protection afforded to the eye by nature, injuries in various types of industries are extremely common.
Of necessity such accidents were known from the earliest time and references were made to them in papyri and classical writings. It was not until the work of Ramazzini (1700) of Moodena that the widespread intricacies of the subject were correlated and its importance adequately stressed. It is interesting how little change in habit there has been from the time Ramazzini found that the chief risk to workmen was from flying particles and his main difficulty lay in the impossibility of persuading the workers to take the simplest precaution to protect themselves. The Government Factory Inspector's report in Great Britain during 1950, shows that in textile industry, about 120 persons were injured by flying particles alone. About 127 received injury due to other causes.
A consideration of ocular injuries not only involves the question of protection from flying bodies but also of adequate illumination and the compatibility of the workman to do a given job.
The proper amount of light under which a healthy eye should work has become a matter of importance in recent years, not only for efficiency in work but also for preventing accidents. Most authorities agree that more nearly the quality of light approaches day light the better it is. A good lighting installation should satisfy the following requisites.
(1) The intensity should be ample to arable one to see clearly and distinctly.
(2) The distribution of illumination should be nearly uniform.
(3) The light should be soft and well diffused.
(4) The source of light should be placed well above the range of vision and glare should be eliminated.
The illuminating Engineering Society of Cotton Textile Mills (England) has recommended that, the actual standard for the different departments for textile industries should be as follows:
Opening, mixing and carding, 10 f.c.; slubbing, roving and spinning 20 f.c.; warping 20 f.c.; beaming 20 f.c.; inspection 50-100 f.c.; drawing in by hands 100 f.c. and weaving 25 f.c.
It is important to have a record of preliminary pre-employment ocular checks in all industries. In literature no full statistical data are available regarding the various ocular defects in people working in industry. This is specially true in our country. Y.K.C. Pandit has made a genuine effort to analyse the data collected during the past ten years. The total number of persons examined by him in a cross section of industry was 1948.
The relationship between vision and efficiency should also be standardised. Dr. S. N. Cooper in 1953 at jamshedpur Conference has emphasised a certain visual standard in ascertaining the visual capacity of the candidate to be employed in textile industry. He maintained that less than the minimum corrected vision will bring down the production of work and its quality and expose him to machine-accidents. There should be a visual bar for the applicant of the service thus ensuring maximum efficiency and minimum of liability in cases of accidents.
Thus an industrial ophthalmologist may help both the employed and the employer with consequent increase in industrial production, by preventing damage to eyes.
| Methods and material|| |
Scheme or work: All the workers studied have been selected at random from the Elgin Textile Mills Kanpur. The different processes of the cotton industry have been divided into four groups viz. Carding, Spinning, Weaving and Finishing. Each of these departments have their own sub-divisions with correspondingly different working conditions.
After determining vision, binocularity, accomodation, convergence, muscle balance, and after examining the external eye, the media and the fundi, the performance capacity i.e. the percentage efficiency was calculated and recorded.
[Table - 1] shows the pattern of ocular conditions on examination of 56 workers of the carding, spinning and weaving sections of the Elgin Mills, Kanpur. It is from such an examination that suitability of eyes for a given job may be determined to minimise accidents and increase production.
[Table - 2] shows the patterns of ocular injuries in the different departments of the Elgin Mills, from an analysis that had been carried out in 1960 for the years 1958 and 1959. Eye injuries form nearly 4% only of all injuries during the years. This figure may be considered quite love in view of the fact that safety measures for the eyes still fall short of the ideal.
| Conclusion|| |
Several points emerge clearly form our observations viz.
1. The ophthalmic services are most needed for the cotton industry. The visual requirements for the workers in different sections are different, as given below, and employment to the different departments should be according to the visual requirements.
(a) The highest acuity of vision is required for warpers, drawers in the drawing-in section, weavers and examiners in the finishing section.
Not only should the acuity be 6/9 or better in each eye with J1 for near but there should be binocularity, no muscle-imbalance, good accomodation and convergence. Incidently, dyers require good colour-vision.
Bifocals for presbyopic correction can be given to workers in all the departments of the mills, except the weavers, who having to work constantly at a short distance only are most comfortable with one piece near correction only, with a range from 75 cm to 30 cm.
(b) Carders and piecers (tenders) in the spinning department do not require vision more than 6/12 for distance and Jii for near.
(c) For mixers in the blow room, the doffers in the spinning department and workers in the sizing department, one can do with even poorer vision without increasing hazards.
2. The commonest ocular injuries encountered were foreign bodies in the cornea and conjunctiva, next being chemical injuries in the dyeing and bleaching sections These can be prevented by the use of spectacles at the time of the job. Most severe type of ocular injuries, occured in the weaving section.
3. Follow up records of the ocular injuries which occured in the Mills should be maintained which would give a true picture of the end result, the disability and the reemployment chances.
4. Except for one or two mills, no adequate reports on illumination in the cotton mills of Kanpur are available. Adequate illumination is an important factor in prevention of ocular injuries.
5. Chronic conjunctivitis, xerosis and trachoma, which increase the hazards, were the most common conditions encountered during the survey. These can be prevented by proper treatment and adequate personal hygiene.
| Summary|| |
The part played by extra occupational causes are particularly emphasised viz. - illumination, ocular infections and diet deficiencies - towards increasing occupational hazards in certain sections of the cotton industry.
The value of a pre-employment visual record and a periodic check-up after employment is of particular value in preventing occupational disability after accidents.
[Table - 1], [Table - 2]