Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 294-299

Awareness and utilization of protective eye device among welders in a southwestern Nigeria community

1 Department of Ophthalmology, University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
2 Ophthalmology Unit, Department of Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3 Department of Ophthalmology, University College Hospital Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Iyiade A Ajayi
Department of Ophthalmology, University Teaching Hospital, PMB 5355 Ado-Ekiti
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.87047

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Objective: To determine the level of awareness and practice of use of protective eye devices among welders in Ile-Ife. Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study of 405 consenting welders. A pretested proforma was utilized to obtain information on sociodemographic characteristics, as well as awareness and use of protective eye device. Results: The age of the respondents ranged from 16 to 80 years. The mean age was 39 ± 13 years. A large proportion (315, 78%) of the welders was aged between 21 and 50 years. The youngest group aged ≤20 years accounted for 15 (4%) of all welders, while the oldest group aged >60 years accounted for 21 (5.2%). 402 were males (99.3%) and three were females (0.7%). Three hundred thirty-six (83%) of the welders had practiced for 6 years and above. There was a high level of awareness of protective eye devices among the welders (367, 90.6%), being higher among arc welders compared with gas welders (P<0.001). Less than half (186, 45.9%) of the welders possessed protective eye devices. Of these, only 39 (9.6%) made use of the devices always. Some of the reasons for not using the protective eye devices include discomfort and poor visibility (56, 13.6%) and inadequate appreciation of the necessity to wear it (49, 12.1%). Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that a significant proportion of welders in Ile-Ife were not utilizing protective eye device. Health education and awareness campaigns about the importance and benefits of utilizing protective eye devices are recommended.

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