Objectives: To investigate modifiable risk and preventive factors of work-related eye injuries.
Methods: A case-crossover study conducted to explore the associations between transient risk factors and work-related eye injuries. Patients seen at seven medical centres in Taiwan with work-related eye injuries over a 4-year period were enrolled in the study. Clinical information was collected from medical charts and detailed information on exposure to eight potentially modifiable factors during the 60 minutes prior to the occurrence of each injury, as well as during the same time interval on the last work day prior to the injury, were obtained using questionnaire surveys. Matched-pair interval analysis was adopted to assess the odds ratios (ORs) for work-related eye injuries given exposure to the eight modifiable factors.
Results: A total of 283 subjects were interviewed. Most of these injured workers were young, male, and self-employed or small enterprise workers. The most common injury type was photokeratitis (33.2%), mainly caused by welding (30.4%). The OR for a work-related eye injury was increased with the performance of an unfamiliar task (57.0), operation of a faulty tool or piece of equipment (48.5), distractions (24.0), being rushed (13.0), or fatigued (10.0), and a poor work environment (4.3). Wearing eye protection devices was found to have a significant protective effect on workers who might otherwise have been exposed to eye injuries (OR = 0.4; 95% CI 0.2 to 0.7).
Conclusion: Potential modifiable risk and preventive factors for work-related eye injuries were identified using a case-crossover study. This information should be helpful in the development of preventive strategies.
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Funding: This study was supported by a contract from the Bureau of Labor Insurance, Council of Labor Affairs, Executive Yuan, Taiwan and ORBIS Taiwan.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: The study was approved by the Joint Institutional Review Board of the Public Health College, National Taiwan University.
Patient consent: Obtained.