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Prevention of work related eye injuries: long term assessment of the effectiveness of a multicomponent intervention among metal workers
  1. G Mancini1,
  2. A Baldasseroni2,
  3. G Laffi3,
  4. S Curti4,
  5. S Mattioli5,
  6. F S Violante6
  1. 1Occupational Health Service, Azienda USL di Ravenna, Ravenna, Italy (formerly at Occupational Health Service, Azienda USL di Imola, Imola)
  2. 2Epidemiology Unit, Azienda USL di Firenze, Florence, Italy
  3. 3Occupational Health Service, Azienda USL di Imola, Imola, Italy
  4. 4Laboratory of Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine Unit, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy
  5. 5Alma Mater Studiorum–University of Bologna, Laboratory of Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine Unit, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy
  6. 6Alma Mater Studiorum–University of Bologna, Occupational Medicine Unit, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S Mattioli
 Laboratorio di Epidemiologia, Unità Operativa di Medicina del Lavoro, Policlinico Sant’Orsola Malpighi, via Pelagio Palagi n.9, I-40138 Bologna, Italy;


Background: Systematic assessments of the effectiveness of interventions to prevent work related eye injuries are needed.

Aim: To investigate the long term effectiveness of a multicomponent prevention campaign.

Methods: The campaign (conducted in collaboration with the local Employers’ Association and Trade Unions) targeted all 237 metal-ware factories in the district of Imola, Italy. Based on preliminary inspections, the main intervention included distribution to all factories of specific educational brochures and broadcasting/publication of television/radio programmes and local newspaper articles containing expert advice on the subject. This was followed by a four year “post-intervention reinforcement” period of unannounced official inspections. Main outcome measures analysed were eye injury rates (versus non-eye injury rates) among metal workers during “pre-intervention” (1988–90), “peri-intervention” (1991–92), “post-intervention reinforcement” (1993–96), “late post-intervention” (1997–2000), and “very late post-intervention” (2001–03) periods with respect to two comparison sectors (construction and wood/ceramics).

Results: A Poisson regression in which the eye injury rates were modelled for each sector, period, and interaction, adjusting for non-eye injury rates, was chosen. The periods did not by themselves determine an overall reduction in eye injuries. The period/sector interaction terms were related to significant reductions for the metal sector when crossed with the “post-intervention reinforcement” (IRR = 0.77, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.97; % decline = 23.4), the “late post-intervention” (IRR = 0.63, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.79; % decline = 37.4), and the “very late post-intervention” (IRR =  0.58, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.77; % decline = 42.4) periods, suggesting a sustained reduction in eye injury risk following the main intervention.

Conclusion: Results suggest that a carefully coordinated, extensive, multicomponent intervention can lead to lasting reductions in the burden of eye injuries.

  • eye injuries
  • prevention
  • effectiveness

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  • Competing interests: none declared

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