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Year : 1968  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 192-195

Ocular problems in cotton industry

Elgin Mills, Kanpur, India

Date of Web Publication24-Dec-2007

Correspondence Address:
A S Divatia
Elgin Mills, Kanpur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Divatia A S. Ocular problems in cotton industry. Indian J Ophthalmol 1968;16:192-5

How to cite this URL:
Divatia A S. Ocular problems in cotton industry. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1968 [cited 2021 May 8];16:192-5. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1968/16/4/192/37552

Table 2

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Table 1

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Table 1

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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 Top

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 Top

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 Top

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]


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