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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 859-864

Primary prevention of ocular injury in agricultural workers with safety eyewear

Cornea and Anterior Segment Services, MGM Eye Institute, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Samrat Chatterjee
MGM Eye Institute, Vidhan Sabha Road, Mandhar, Raipur - 493 111, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_334_17

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of preventing eye injury with the use of safety eyewear in agriculture workers. Methods: A sample group of 575 agricultural workers (Group A) engaged in harvesting paddy were provided with goggles with side covers. Following harvesting, a questionnaire-based survey was carried out to determine the frequency of their eye injuries. Workers with goggles were asked about the duration for which they used the goggles and also list barriers or difficulties with the same. The frequency of eye injuries in this group was compared with another group of agriculture workers (Group B) who did not use any safety eyewear. Results: The frequency of eye injuries in Group A was 4 (0.7%) and Group B was 61 (11.3%) which was highly significant (P = 0.0001). The relative risk calculated was 0.06 (95% confidence interval: 0.02–0.2). Agricultural workers in Group A had 94% less risk of ocular trauma compared to those in Group B. Injuries in both groups were caused by parts of the paddy plant. A significant number (76.2%) of workers used the goggles all or most of the time during work. Impaired vision when wearing goggles was the most frequent barrier reported by the workers. Other barriers were discomfort, shyness, forgetfulness, apathy, slowing of work pace, awkward appearance, and breakages. Conclusion: Safety eyewear conferred significant protection against work-related eye injuries in agriculture. Although safety eyewear was widely adopted by the workers, barriers reported by them will need to be addressed to make such programs more effective.

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