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The importance of observational methods for evaluation of interventions to prevent occupational injuries
  1. H J Lipscomb
  1. Correspondence to:
 Associate Professor H J Lipscomb
 Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Box 3834 DUMC, Durham, NC 27710, USA;

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Commentary on the paper by Mancini et al (see page 830)

As a public health problem, work related eye injuries are responsible for significant morbidity. While many eye injuries are of a minor nature, serious injuries occur, and even injuries of a more minor nature can have significant consequences without appropriate care. Impaired sight can profoundly affect the ability of workers to do their jobs. Individuals requiring depth perception in their work, such as workers in skilled trades, are at risk of significant occupational impairment from loss of binocular vision. Needless to say, loss of site is a devastating injury, to the individual as a breadwinner and in private life, with significant impact on quality of life. Despite all of these things, the prevention of work related eye injuries has not received much occupational safety research attention.

This is not meant to imply a lack of empirical guidelines for prevention of occupational eye injuries, including use of appropriate eye protection with written workplace policies for eye safety and enforcement of those policies.1 Over 50 years ago, meeting minimum standards for eye protection was required of government contractors in the USA under the Walsh-Healy Public Contracts Act.2 However, there is limited scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of programmes designed to prevent eye injuries,3 as well as a mixed literature regarding the frequency with which injuries occur despite the …

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  • Competing interests: none declared

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