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Incidence and economic impact of ophthalmological occupational accidents in Greece

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2009.13033    3,889 Downloads   7,601 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Scope: This article seeks to assess the eco-nomic impact of industrial accidents with ref-erence to the incidence of opthalmological in-dustrial injuries occurring in the Thriacion Plain industrial zone in Greece during the period 1991-2000. Material and Methods: Data provided by 53 industrial units have been collected and classified. During the study period, 2,011 adults and juveniles out of the 15,600 people employed in the area (a 13% aggregate) suffered opthal-mological injuries occurring at the workplace. Results: The highest percentage of injuries were due to trauma (61% of adults, 67% of juveniles), followed by chemical burns. In the majority of cases (75% of adults and 50% of juveniles) treatment was provided at the local IKA (Social Security Fund) health care unit, in the town of Elefsis. It was estimated that a total of 10,192 working days were lost, with compensation costs (benefit payments) alone amounting to approximately € 118,000.00, not allowing for in-direct employer costs such as loss of produc-tivity, substitution and replacement costs. Con-clusions: The high incidence of industrial acci-dents in combination with the high percentage of child labor in the area of Thriacion Industrial Plain were striking and contributed significantly to high- er rates of work-related injuries of ocular interest in Greece. The latter were shown to result in a sig- nificant deterioration of the employees’ health status, with the majority of the accidents being due to the lack of safety precautions at the work-place at a considerable financial burden on the social security system in direct benefit payments. The social security system needs to press for tighter work safety regulations and their proper implementation if to minimize the burden these accidents impose on its budget.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Souliotis, K. , Angelou, M. , Golna, C. and Tountas, Y. (2009) Incidence and economic impact of ophthalmological occupational accidents in Greece. Health, 1, 197-202. doi: 10.4236/health.2009.13033.

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