Self–reported eye disorders and visual hazards among Ghanaian mine workers


  • S Ocansey
  • GO Ovenseri-Ogbomo
  • EK Abu
  • S Kyei
  • SB Boadi-Kusi


Visual hazards, Occupational health, Goldfields, Ghana, Ultraviolet


Because mining is an important industrial sector in many parts of the world, substantial progress has been made in the control of occupational health hazards associated with it. However, there are possibilities for further risk reduction. A cross-sectional study was conducted at Goldfields (Gh.) Ltd., Tarkwa to find out the prevalence of self reported eye diseases among the miners and visual hazards in the mine using standardized questionnaires. Four hundred and six (406) workers en-gaged in mining activity were conveniently sampled for the study. They all answered a question-naire that solicited information on their socio-demographic data, health history, vital eye safety information and eye screening. Tests performed included visual acuity and pinhole examination. Overall, 117 (28.8%) confirmed previous diagnosis of an eye disease with presbyopia as the most reported eye condition in 5.2% of the subjects. While visual impairment was found in 28.1% of the study population only 1.4% reported previous history of refractive errors. Flying dust was named as the potential eye hazard in the mine by 39.7% of the workers. Only 10% of the workers had had some form of eye injuries. Chemical usage was 41.1% among the respondents while 7.9 % com-plained about intensity of light at the workplace. Eye diseases and visual impairments were reported among miners. Visual hazards were also found in the mine. Eye protection controls should be strengthened and an occupational eye safety and health programmes integrated into the general safety programme of the mine.