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   Table of Contents      
ARTICLE
Year : 1968  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 232-237

Visual screening in industrial workers


India

Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2007

Correspondence Address:
V K Dada
India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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How to cite this article:
Dada V K, Dhir S P, Goswamy S, Mehta M G, Agarwal L P, Sarma M A, Chari C R. Visual screening in industrial workers. Indian J Ophthalmol 1968;16:232-7

How to cite this URL:
Dada V K, Dhir S P, Goswamy S, Mehta M G, Agarwal L P, Sarma M A, Chari C R. Visual screening in industrial workers. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1968 [cited 2020 Aug 9];16:232-7. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1968/16/4/232/37562

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Table 2

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Table 1

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Table 1

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Since the dawn of independence, India has progressed in all spheres of life, most of all in industries.

Industries have widened the scope of employment for the skilled and un­skilled worker. It has increased the responsibility of industrial associa­tions, labour unions and the govern­ment for the attainment of proper working conditions and social security for the workers, which must ensure proper understanding between these three sectors. It becomes, therefore, imperative to know the medical pro­blems facing these workers so that possible preventive and curative mea­sures could be taken in future plans.

Keeping these problems in view, under the auspices of the National Society for the Prevention of Blind­ness, an Ophthalmic survey of indus­trial workers around Delhi and in Haryana was launched on the project `Early Detection of Visual Defects'.

A sample survey of 16 industries was made and a total of 5498 workers were examined. Industry-wise wor­kers examined is given in [Table - 1]. The coverage accounted for over 90% in every factory.

Methods and Material: These 5,498 workers were screened for visual acuity, muscle balance and colour vision and record was obtained on a folder having 3 parts (Appendix I). The first part recorded the socio-eco­nomic status of the workers with re­gard to age occupation, literacy and per capita income. The second part dealt with the visual parameters which were filled by trained lady health visitors under the direct super­vision of ophthalmic surgeons. The third and the last part was filled by the ophthalmic surgeon on the basis of thorough ophthalmic examination and gave the necessary advice.

Criteria: For maddox rod, reading exceeding 6 prism diopters for Eso, 6 prism diopters for Exo and 2 prism diopters for hyper were labelled ab­normal.

For maddox wing, values exceeding 5 prism diopters for Eso, 8 prism diop­ters for Eso and 2 prism diopters for hyper were considered amongst vi­sually defective.

Retinoscopy and funduscopy was done in all the cases of defective vi­sual acuity and necessary glasses were prescribed. Those needing operation for their eye affections were referred to Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences and were operat­ed by ophthalmic surgeons.

Second approach to the problem was made with the following aims in view:­

a) Ocular hazards due to occupa­tion.

b) Effective on the industry due to non-laying of visual standards.

c) Effect on the worker due to de­fective vision from the very be­ginning.

d) Effect on the worker due to ac­quired defect.

For this purpose, a systematic sam­ple of 555 cases was taken out of 5,498 by numbering the cards and se­lecting every 10th card.


  Observations Top


The observations have been divided into two main heads (1) Visual defects and (2) Ocular Disorders. Each of these was then projected on to socio­economic factors as age, literacy, oc­cupation and per-capita income per month to find out any association with them.

Socio-Economic Factors:

Age: [Table - 2] gives the age distri­bution of the workers. Workers bet­ween 17-70 years were examined. 3,338 were in the age group of 21-30 years while 9 were in the age group of 61-70.

Literacy: [Table - 3]. Out of a total of 5498, 607 were illiterate and 2,968 were literate without any particular educational qualification. Workers with Matriculation, Inter of Higher Secondary and Graduation as their basic qualification were 1,208, 446 and 264 respectively.

Occupation: [Table - 4] gives the dis­tribution of these cases by occupation. It is clear that the maximum number is in the category of skilled workers and the minimum number in mobile equipment operators.

Per-Capita Income (p.m..): [Table - 5] gives a break-up of 5,498 according to the per-capita income. A maxi­mum number of 3,548 was found in the lowest income group of Rs. 0.50. It was observed that the number of workers decrease with 'the increase in income.

Association of Visual Defects and Muscular Imbalance with Socio-Eco­nomic Parameters

Age:
[Table - 2] shows that the visual defects increase with age. This has been found to be statistically signi­ficant, but Muscular Imbalance does not bear any relation to age as no trend was observed.

Literacy: [Table - 3] It was found that visual defects and muscular im­balance were maximum in those who had graduation as their basic quali­fication. The prevalence amongst the graduates was 42.4% for visual de­fects and 9.1% for Muscular Imba­lance. The data, however, does not give any regular pattern.

Occupation: [Table - 4] It is clear that visual defects were most pre­valent amongst unskilled workers (41.4%). This was followed by close ­machine workers and skilled labour­ers who were having 37.8% and 37.4% respectively. Muscular imbalance was maximum amongst close-machine workers i.e. 9.1% followed by un­skilled labourers (8.2%). Minimum prevalence was found in machine operators (33%).

Per-Capita Income: [Table - 5] No­thing can be said about the per-capita income having an association with vi­sual defects and muscular imbalance as no trends were observed.

Association of Ocular Disorders with Socio-Economic Factors: Ocular dis­orders include all the illness pertain­ing to the eye. [Table - 6] shows ocu­lar disorders by age. Maximum number of 3,338 had ocular disorders in the age group of 21-30 years. It is also evident that ocular disorders in­crease with increase in age. This has been found to be statistically high­ly significant. Considering the total, it was found that 5,301 (96.4%) wor­kers out of 5,498 suffer from one or the other ocular disorder.

[Table - 7] shows ocular disorders by occupation. Maximum affection was found in unskilled labourers ac­counting for 97.9%.

[Table - 8] gives the ocular disor­ders by literacy. It may be observed that the % incidence of ocular dis­orders decreases with the rise in the education level. This has been found to be statistically significant. This may be due to the fact that educated people are more conscious of their eye affections and get early treatment.

Ocular disorders in various per­capita income groups. No trend was observed and hence nothing can be said about the association of per ­capita income with ocular disorders.

Observations on ocular hazards-occu­pation-wise.

(A) Welders


They may be affected in three ways.

(a) By ultra violet and infra-red light.

(b) By flux falling on the eyes while welding or while cleaning.

(c) By gases emitted in the process of welding.

Out of a total of 16, 9(56.3%) had hyperiemia and vasularisation, 2(12.5 %) had conjunctival pigmentation, 1 had photo ophthalmia, 1 had ptery­gium and 1 had foreign body conjunc­tiva. Refractive error, muscular imba­lance and colour defects were pre­sent in 2(12.5%), 2(12.5%) and 1(6.3 %) respectively.

(B) MACHINE OPERATORS: Out of a total of 168, 20 (11.9%) had chro­nic conjunctivitis, 10(6.0%) had cent­ral corneal opacities, 2(1.2%) had peripheral corneal opacities and 1(0.6%) had adherent leucoma, 9(5.4%) had conjunctival pigmentation, con­junctival and corneal foreign bodies were present in 7(4.2%) and 8(4.8%) respectively. Hyperaemia and vascu­larisation was present in 7(4.2%) cases'. Traumatic cataract was noted in 1(0.6%). Cases of refractive error, muscular imbalance and colour de­fects were present in 38 (22.6%), 5(3.0%) and 4(2.4%) respectively; 16(9.5%) had presbiopia.

Skilled Workers: Out of a total of 180, 10(5.6%) had chronic conjunc­tivitis, 5(2.8%) had paint deposit in cilia, 5 had hyperoemia and vasculari­sation and 3(1.7%) had conjunctival pigmentation. Foreign bodies of conjunctiva and cornea were present in 2(1.1%) and 2(1.1%) cases. 3(1.7%) had central 5(2.8%) had periphe­ral corneal opacities and 1(0.6%) had adherent leucoma. 1(0.6%) had trau­matic cataract and one had photo ophthalmia. Presbiopia was present in 15 cases (8.3%). Refractive error, muscular imbalance, and colour de­fects were seen in 42 (23.2%), 6(3.3%) and 8(4.4%) respectively.

Unskilled Workers Out of a total of 74, 3(4.0%) had chronic conjunctivi­tis, 2 had conjunctival pigmentation, I had xerosis and 1 had paint depo­sit, I (1.3%) had conjunctival foreign. body, I had corneal foreign body.

Inspection and Close Machine Work: Out of 35, only 1(2.9%) had central corneal opacity. Refractive error, muscular imbalance and colour de­fects were noted in 8(22.9%), 5(14.3 %) and 1(2.9%) cases. Prevalence of presbiopia was seen in 2(5.7%)

Clerical and Administrative: Out of 75, 1(1.3%) had chronic conjunctivi­tis and 2(2.7%) had corneal foreign bodies. Refractive errors, muscular imbalance and colour defects were noted in 24(32.0%), 8(10.7%) and 3(4.0%) cases. Presbiopia was pre­sent in 3(4.0%) cases.

Mobile Equipment Operator: Out of 7, 3(42.9%) had refractive error.

Normal: Out of 555, 16 cases i.e. 2.9 % were found to be normal in all respects.


  EFFECT ON INDUSTRY DUE TO SUB-STANDARD VISION Top


Investigating the presence of ha­zards in a total of 555 workers, it was found that out of these, 135 (24.3%) were prone to ocular hazards, and a still larger number i.e. 190 (34.2%) were having subnormal vi­sion. They were therefore more prone to risks of injury. Thus 13 (7.7%) machine operators, 5 (2.8%) skilled workers and 1 (2.9%) close machine workers were found totally unfit for the job on which they were still working. This would result in lowering the productivity and in wastage of material and skilled man­power. It would also involve the employer more often than not, in medico legal problems of compensa­tion. This stresses the need for vi­sual screening and vocational advice depending on their visual status prior to their admission for any job. Thus, the solution lies with the industria­lists, Government and the labour unions.

A general awakening on the part of these three agencies in realising their responsibilities remains the pi­vot for the solution of this colossal problem. This will then ensure bet­ter understanding between these agencies, better efficiency, better pro­duction and better industrial pro­gress of the developing Nation.

It is therefore, suggested that (i) All the employees should be visually screened as a rule, before their re­cruitment and given a proper voca­tional guidance and timely treat­ment. (ii) A proper inspection of the industrial environment, working con­ditions, sanitation, illumination stan­dards and social security by the Go­vernment is necessary before any new factory is commissioned. (iii) It should be followed by periodical ins­pections. (iv) Industrial ophthalmolo­gy should be made a course of study for ophthalmic practitioners and the medical. man made more conscious about its need and utility.



 
 
    Tables

  [Table - 1], [Table - 2], [Table - 3], [Table - 4], [Table - 5], [Table - 6], [Table - 7], [Table - 8], [Table - 9]



 

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