|Year : 1968 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 196-197
Industrial eye accident prevention in textile mills
Group Labour Officer, Madura Mills Co. Ltd., Madurai-10, India
|Date of Web Publication||24-Dec-2007|
Group Labour Officer, Madura Mills Co. Ltd., Madurai-10
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Raman K. Industrial eye accident prevention in textile mills. Indian J Ophthalmol 1968;16:196-7
This is a short note on the causes of accidents to eye to workers employed in a Textile Mill (Madura Mills Co. Ltd., Madurai). The total labour (operatives) employed in the A-ladurai unit of Madura Mills is around 7,000 comprising machine tenters as well as ancillary workers. Machine tenters form the bulk of labour and they are employed in the various processes from mixing room to spinning/winding. The single large category of occupation is spinners, naturally so because the mills produce a large quantity of yarn apart from cloth. There is also an Engineering Workshop to attend to various maintenance work. This workshop employs about 500 workers. There are various occupations such as Machinists, Turners, Welders etc. in the shop.
In Madura Mills, as we observe from our experience, a number of accidents are caused either due to negligence in handling the machines or machine parts or tools or while cleaning the machines and so on, but accidents to eye are not very common. Some of these accidents result in disablement of the workers which leads to some degree of dislocation in the particular department, especially when replacements become difficult.
During the year 1966 out of a total of 231 cases (both disabled and not disabled) there were six accidents which caused injuries to the eyes. The figures when compared to those of 1965 are as follows: [Table - 1]
Though the number of eye accidents in 1966 has increased by 2 over 1965 the loss of man hours due to these accidents remains the same viz. about 290 manhours i.e. 36 mandays in each year.
Eye accidents in a Spinning Mill are invariably caused by broken ring travellers flying and hitting the eyes of the operatives.
In the spinning frames thousands of ring travellers either burn off or fly out or fall on to the floor without any harm. But in exceptional cases an odd traveller snaps into two and the broken bits fly out with some force. One such bit fles up to shoulder height and hits the worker if he happens to be piecing ends around that place.
This hazard is inevitable in Ring Spinning Frames and to minimise this nature of injury, under a preventive maintenance programme, the ring travellers are renewed once a fortnight and also when count changes are effected. This naturally puts up our maintenance cost but it is considered a worthwhile investment in the interests of the workers.
There is no possibility of preventing the travellers from flying out and any protection from this hazard can be had only if workers wear goggles at the workspot which is impracticable for various reasons including workers' dislike.
Besides these we have had cases of eye accidents due to metal pieces like iron filings, turnings etc. hitting the workers. Such accidents are very rare. In fact we had only one accident in 1965 and another one in 1966. To avert such accidents under the Madras Factories Rules, 1950 Rule 58, an employer should take adequate steps in the factory for the protection of the workers' eyes. We have made the following provisions in keeping with the Factories Rules for the protection of our workers:
1. Closed type goggles for the workers who are engaged in dry grinding of metals or articles of metal applied by hand to a revolving wheel or disc driven by mechanical power.
2. All turners are individually supplied with closed type goggles with specific instruction to wear them when they are engaged in turning operations.
3. Workers while arc-welding are to wear an eye shield. The helper who keeps the object in position is also supplied with an additional eye-shield. In case of gas-welding dark coloured goggles are provided.
4. Workers working on the circular saw are provided with eye shields so as to prevent their eyes from flying saw dust.
5. In Welding Section welders are provided with separate booths with walled partitions so that others who are not on welding job may keep their eyes prevented from exposure to the flame.
6. As a general precaution all workers who are working on jobs like cutting, chipping or scaling metallic parts are instructed to wear closed type goggles as protection against flying bits of iron pieces.
In addition to the foregoing the following precautions may also be helpful in eye safety:
1. Before starting the machine the operator should check whether all the guards are in proper position and the machine has been properly oiled.
2. Illumination at the machine should always be sufficient to enable the operator to perform his work safely and without eye strain.
3. Exposed power and feed gears should be fully enclosed preferably with sheet metal.
4. A chip guard of heavy close mesh wire screen should be provided over the tool to prevent chips from flying and striking the operator or other workers.
5. If there is any unsafe condition about the machine or the work, the operator should immediately report that fact to the Supervisor.
[Table - 1]