|Year : 1968 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 232-237
Visual screening in industrial workers
VK Dada, SP Dhir, S Goswamy, MG Mehta, LP Agarwal, MA Sarma, CR Chari
|Date of Web Publication||24-Dec-2007|
V K Dada
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|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 2021 May 8];16:232-7. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1968/16/4/232/37562
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|| |
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.
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.
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|| |
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.
[Table - 1], [Table - 2], [Table - 3], [Table - 4], [Table - 5], [Table - 6], [Table - 7], [Table - 8], [Table - 9]