06 June 2017
The province of Modena is one of the most industrialized areas of Northern Italy. The medical records of the Ophthalmological Emergency Department (OED) of Modena University Hospital were studied: there were 13,470 OED accesses in 2014 and in 754 cases that an occupational eye injury occurred. The frequency of work-related eye injuries (3‰) was lower compared to other published studies, but the absolute number is still relevant, showing the need for more adequate prevention, especially in metal work, construction work, and agriculture, where the worst prognoses were observed. Intervention programs must be implemented as early as possible in the working life, considering that the frequency in younger workers is about double that of the oldest age class (3.5‰ vs. 1.8‰), and special attention should also be given to foreigners, who have a 50% higher injury risk. Furthermore, the planning of specific interventions for eye-injured workers may be useful, considering that a previous injury does not appear to encourage the adoption of preventive interventions, and a subgroup of eye-injured workers have a potential risk for new injuries. Finally, the data presented here indicates how OED records, integrated with specific occupational information, can be applied for studies on work-related eye injuries.