|Year : 1968 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 183-185
Ocular injuries in industry - A survey of six factories
I Goel, Khanuja
Dept. of Ophthalmology, Medical College, Jabalpore, India
|Date of Web Publication||24-Dec-2007|
Dept. of Ophthalmology, Medical College, Jabalpore
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Goel I, Khanuja. Ocular injuries in industry - A survey of six factories. Indian J Ophthalmol 1968;16:183-5
A study was done to evaluate the injuries and other causes of defective eye sight in factory workers.
The total number of workers in the three factories (1) Gun-Carriage Factory. (2) Ordinance Factory Khawaria and (3) Ammunition factory was 12130, 13166 and 16541 respectively. Percentage of workers injured (all types of injuries) was 1.36 per cent, 1.7 per cent and 1.06 per cent only in 1965. In three other factories High Explosives Factory, Sandvic Asia Ltd. and Simplex industries, the number of total workers were 2062, 900 and 400 respectively. Here the percentages of workers injured was considerably higher i.e. 4.13 per cent, 7.22 per cent and 7.70 per cent in the same year.
Inspite of this variation in this total number of workers injured, the percentage of eye injury in 1965 among the injured workers was comparatively similar, varying from 7.95 to 10.70 per cent of all injuries in the first group of three factories, but varying from 6.40 to 27.7 per cent, in the second group of three factories. This worked out to an average 9.10 per cent, among the total eye injuries in factories, which are doing work with metals, while the number of eye injuries can increase suddenly in factories like Sandvic Asia Ltd., where the workers have to work wholly in tool production. Inspite of these different percentages in eye injuries, the percentage of major eye injuries is another disproportionate factor. In our series, we found more in ammunition factory (30 per cent) and the explosives factory (25 per cent) of all the injuries, while in other factories the proportion sharply diminished from 18.75 to 5.50 per cent.
From these statistics we found that in 1964, in H.E.F. 9 workers lost 376 man hours. In 1965, 6 workers lost 232 man hours. In 1966, 4 workers lost 384 man hours.
Ammunition factory shows a variation. In 1964, 10 workers lost 408 man hours, but in 1965, 14 workers lost 458 man hours and in 1966, 10 workers lost 756 man hours. Thus, to get a proper idea of ocular injuries, the disabilities caused by them and their hazards, it is not sufficient to talk of number of injuries only, but also of its severity and a combination of these two ideas can only be had, if one talks in terms of man hours of work lost. Though the number of eye injuries may be the same or similar but man hours lost can be very different.
It is concluded that due to gradual enforcement of protective measures in H.E.F. and Sandvic Asia Ltd., the number of eye accidents have gradually showed a decline. H.E.F. show a gradual decline from 9 per cent to 7 per cent and Sandvic Asia Ltd. from 23.7 per cent to 15.0 per cent during these three years.
This indicates the importance that should be attached to enforcing the preventive measures to save the workers from eye injuries.
The minor and major injuries of the eye are mostly preventable and the preventive measures already in use in various factories are provision of some goggles, provision of some first aid measures and certain amount of education to the workers. We found that the protective goggles and the welder's shield can be further improved; and the main factors in improving the protective goggles is to provide a good optical glass, sufficient ventilation on the temporal sides and a more comfortable nose bridge.
Visual efficiency for the particular job has not been taken into consideration by any of these factories and we feel that the percentage of eye injuries can be brought down considerably if the visual job analysis for the skilled and semi-skilled jobs is worked out and enforced when the recruitment is done.
Thus, some unskilled jobs can be given to even partially sighted people without fear and in this manner Indian industries will be of great help in rehabilitating the partially sighted.
In our series, out of 220 cases 8.3 cases (37.7 per cent) attended the hospital from the factories for their injured eyes. In these 83 cases in 67.4 per cent, the injury was due to flying particles out of which, 54.2 per cent were due to iron particles. Thus a little more than half of the cases were due to flying iron particles and 49 per cent of these were superficial. Thus we come to the conclusion that at least half the number of eye injury cases among factory workers can be prevented by using suitable and comfortable protective goggles.
Chemical injury is the next serious injury though only 6 per cent of the cases were affected. These too can be prevented.
Blunt injury was also present in 6 per cent but only two cases did not recover normal eye sight after treatment.
Intra-ocular foreign body was present only in 2 cases (2.5 per cent).
5 per cent of the cases had photoretinitis and 2.5 per cent had flash conjunctivitis. Welder's shield was commonly used but these were the other persons watching the show.
Total cases of rupture of the eye ball with uveal prolapse were 4.8 per cent.
Defective vision caused by injury was 39.6 per cent of all injured cases in our present series. 24.0 per cent retained useful vision or better. 15.6 per cent of the injured cases became blind i.e. vision was less than 6/60 in the injured eye.
Vision of 60.4 per cent of injured cases remained unaffected though out of these 37.7 per cent were left with corneal opacities.
In our series out of 220 cases, 208 workers lost 12256 man hours.
Man hours lost, wages lost and corresponding loss in production was found to be quite substantial even by the not so well kept records.
Compensation paid was Rs. 57,134.00 and compensation not paid (hut due to workers) was Rs. 15,190.00. To avoid this loss the following points were brought to the notice of the management.
- Visual efficiency for a given job should be specified.
- Selection of proper personnel with correlated visual efficiency.
- Improvement of protective goggles and other safety devices so as to make these more comfortable and wearable.
- The responsibility of the management to get the injured attended to, is necessary. The present attitude that the worker is given leave to go and get the specialist attention wherever he pleases, causes delay in the treatment and loss to the factory and worker both.
- Enforcement of safety measure and no compensation to be paid to the workers found not using protective goggles.
| Summary|| |
A statistical analysis of ocular injuries in 6 factories working on metals is presented. The average of ocular injuries was 9.1 per cent of all. injuries in the 6 factories.
A true idea of the number of injuries and their severity can be judged from the number of man hours lost, which showed a gradual decline in all the factories during the years from 1963 to 1965. This can be attributed to increasing safety-consciousness and the measures adopted to prevent ocular injuries. Further safety measures are recommended.