Epidemiologic study on work-related eye injuries in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2007 Sep;23(9):463-9. doi: 10.1016/S1607-551X(08)70054-8.


To describe the epidemiologic features of work-related eye injuries in Kaohsiung, a hospital-based study was performed. Four hundred and eighty-six patients who were treated at emergency service or were admitted to the ophthalmology ward over a 4-year period were reviewed. Among these, 38.9% of eye injuries in the study were work-related. Male workers had a 3.99 higher odds ratio (OR) than females to suffer from eye injuries (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.99-8.04). Most of the work-related eye injuries occurred in subjects who were 30-49 years old (OR, 3.02, and 95% CI, 1.56-5.82, when compared with those aged < or = 29 years). The most common type of eye injury in the occupational exposure group was foreign body injury (31.2%), followed by blunt injuries (20.6%), chemical burn (19.6%), UV light radiation (12.7%), and corneal abrasions (11.6%). On the other hand, in the non-occupational exposure group, the most common types of eye injury were blunt injuries (43.4%), corneal abrasions (28.3%), and foreign body injury (20.2%). Our study found that foreign body injury and blunt injuries were the two highest priority injuries for which prevention strategies should be developed in Kaohsiung city. Furthermore, after advanced examination of types of media that caused eye injuries, we found that being hit by wooden objects around the eye, by flying objects in the eye, and by welding flashes are important risk factors for workers to avoid. In conclusion, most of the occupational eye injuries occurred among male workers aged 30-49 years. Due to the lack of an occupational eye injury surveillance system to monitor the incidence of eye injuries and to undertake risk assessment, preventable occupational eye injuries have not been properly controlled. We hope to provide information for further development of preventive strategies.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Burns, Chemical / epidemiology
  • Eye Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Eye Injuries / etiology
  • Female
  • Foreign Bodies / complications
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / epidemiology