September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Eye Safety Among Skilled Manual Workers
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rohini Rao
    Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Matthew Gardiner
    Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Maggie Hymowitz
    Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye And Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Rohini Rao, None; Matthew Gardiner, None; Maggie Hymowitz, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 3057. doi:
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      Rohini Rao, Matthew Gardiner, Maggie Hymowitz; Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Eye Safety Among Skilled Manual Workers. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):3057.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Ocular trauma is a preventable occupational hazard that frequently presents to Emergency Departments (ED). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), work-related eye injuries “cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.” Skilled manual workers employed in fields such as construction and carpentry face these hazards everyday. Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety glasses, goggles, and face shields are mandated by OSHA and can prevent these injuries. However, in our experience at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) ED, patients with work-related eye injury often do not wear PPE or do not wear the correct type of PPE. This study investigates the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of eye protection among these patients.

Methods : With a cross-sectional design, a survey was administered to subjects who presented to the MEEI ED with work-related eye trauma between February and September 2015. The survey focused on the use of eye protection at the time of injury and reasons behind the use of PPE.

Results : Eighty-four subjects (79 men, 5 women) completed the survey. On average, participants reported 3 prior work-related eye injuries (range 0 to >10). The most common injury was a corneal foreign body (83%). 98% reported routinely wearing eye protection at work (13% prescription glasses, 83% safety glasses, 25% safety goggles, and 43% face shields); however, 21 subjects denied receiving eye safety training. Moreover, 25% did not feel protected by their PPE, and 27% were not wearing PPE at the time of injury, most commonly due to bulkiness. 54% reported caring about the look of their PPE. Safety goggles were viewed as most protective, but 39% stated they would not wear goggles due to size and tendency to fog.

Conclusions : In patients who suffered occupational eye injuries, PPE was either not worn or not protective enough. Patients were concerned about the size, shape, and appearance of their PPE and did not fully appreciate its importance. Our data suggests that more emphasis needs to be placed on eye protection in the workplace and on developing PPE that is more comfortable, attractive, and fully protective.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.

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