The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued an advisory to the Union and State Governments to prevent and minimise the impact of ocular trauma, which it said causes 5% of permanent blindness.
The NHRC asked the government to identify the industries that have a high potential of ocular trauma and make it mandatory for such units with 50 workers or more to have accident cover of ₹15 lakh for each worker. The commission also asked the government to set up an online portal to record details of each case of ocular trauma and make it mandatory for hospitals and medical practitioners to upload details of such cases onto the portal.
The advisory included suggestions for a public awareness campaign as well as an examination of the existing laws for mandatory use of eye safety gear worn by workers involved in hazardous activities.
Among the NHRC’s suggestions were a ban on sale of fire-crackers that have the potential to cause eye trauma; ban on sale of bows, arrows, pellet guns and toys that have sharp edges; introduction of technology to reduce eye injuries due to road accidents; and mandatory safe packaging and labelling of chemicals for domestic use.
“The Commission has observed that major contributors of eye injury are road accidents (34%), sports (29%) and occupations (21%). However, the most reassuring fact is that eye injury is a preventable cause of blindness,” the NHRC said in a statement.