Metallic corneal foreign bodies: an occupational health hazard
Purpose: To analyze the risk factors, outcomes, demographic characteristics, and attitudes of workers with metallic corneal foreign body (FB) injury. Methods: One hundred consecutive patients who presented with a metallic corneal FB to the eye clinic at Diyarbakir Training and Research Hospital were evaluated. The patients completed a questionnaire and were examined to determine features of the injury. Results: All patients were male. The mean age was 32.46 ± 1.03 years. Fiftyfive percent of the patients were unregistered workers, 59% were working in the metal industry sector, and 65% injuries resulted from metal cutting. Protective goggles were available in the workplace of 64% patients. However, 57% patients were not wearing goggles when the accident occurred, and 43% were injured despite goggle use. Most patients (52%) attempted to remove FBs by themselves. FBs were located in the central zone of the cornea in 16% patients. Rust marks remained after FB removal in 26% patients. Corneal scars from previous FB injuries were present in 58% patients. Only 8% workplaces provided compensation for physician visits for occupation related illnesses. Conclusions: Workplaces with a high risk for eye injuries should increase their protective measures, and educational programs should be implemented for both workers and occupational physicians. The government should enforce laws regarding unregistered workers in a better manner.