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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1002

Gear up for work!

Cataract and Refractive Surgery Services, Eye Infirmary, Nabha, Punjab, India

Date of Web Publication25-Jun-2018

Correspondence Address:
Kunwar Vikram Singh Dhaliwal
Cataract and Refractive Surgery Services, Eye Infirmary, Nabha, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_503_18

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How to cite this article:
Dhaliwal KV. Gear up for work!. Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:1002

How to cite this URL:
Dhaliwal KV. Gear up for work!. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Nov 28];66:1002. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2018/66/7/1002/234984

Almost nothing need be said when you have eyes.

-Tarjei Vesaas, The Boat in The Evening.

And I have to say this because we are losing “vision.”

By profession, a majority of laborers and skilled workers come across a working environment where they are vulnerable to hazards that could be detrimental to their health and well-being. This is particularly a major health problem in developing countries like ours, where the access to preventive and protective measures is lacking. The attitude of workers and the owners of the work facilities toward protective gears is very callous.

Leigh et al., in their study, estimated an annual incidence of occupational hazards between 924,700 and 1,902,300 and 121,000 occupational hazards caused deaths in India.[1] Based on the study of incidence of injury, a study by Mohan and Patel in Northern India showed that an annual incidence of 17 million injuries per year and 53,000 deaths per year was estimated in agriculture sector alone.[2]

The major legal provisions for the protection of health and safety of the working populations are the Factories Act and Mines Act. The Factories Act, 1948, deals with occupational health and safety, as well as welfare of workers employed in a factory. However, more than 90% of the Indian labor force does not work in factories; hence, they fall outside the provisions of the Act. Some of these units may be manufacturing, waste handling, using hazardous chemicals, or carrying on operations dangerous to the health and safety of workers.

Majority of workers visiting our clinics with ocular trauma are those working in small-scale private sector, including automobile repairs and combined harvester manufacturing and repairs. These workers are mostly working with welding machines, grinders, and hammers. Most of them have not been provided with protective gear. Workers, who have been provided, care two hoots for the appropriate use of protective gear. Most commonly sustained trauma in my clinical practice is corneal foreign bodies. Due to the dominant eye focusing exactly on the point of interest, these foreign bodies, even when managed well, leave a small opacity in the visual axis of the dominant eye. Jinagal, Gupta, Gupta and Ram highlight an interesting case of intralenticular foreign body, which they have managed by phacoaspiration and foreign body removal.[3]

The expenses of the initial treatment are usually borne by the employer, but in the later period, the patient is found alone in attempts to deal with the compromised visual quality. Often, the ability of earning member to continue with the job is lost. When the foreign body has penetrated the globe, the finances involved in the treatment are manifolds. The visual outcomes are even more compromised.

In our busy OPDs, we often forget to explain the importance of protective gear for the health of the eyes. Even when the patients are counseled to use goggles or protective glasses, very few of them care to follow the instructions. The most common reason for noncompliance in my opinion is not lack of finances as the revolution in plastic disposables has made everything so cheap that a common man can easily afford them. It is the careless attitude toward preventive health. Our society is more inclined toward curative medicine rather than taking pains to promote preventive medicine.

In my opinion, we should put more stress upon the precautions to be taken while doing hazardous jobs and work on preventing these kinds of injuries in addition to polishing our skills to treat them well.


I wish to thank Dr. Ranjit Singh Dhaliwal for his guidance and support.

  References Top

Leigh J, Macaskill P, Kuosma E, Mandryk J. Global burden of disease and injury due to occupational factors. Epidemiology 1999;10:626-31.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mohan D, Patel R. Design of safer agricultural equipment: Application of ergonomics and epidemiology. Int J Ind Ergon 1992;10:301-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Jinagal J, Gupta G, Gupta PC, Ram J. Intralenticular foreign body. Indian J Ophthalmol 2018;66:1001.  Back to cited text no. 3
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