Online Program

Improving eye safety training and education for frontline healthcare workers

Monday, November 2, 2015

Bianca Ferreira, M.P.H., Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Curtis E. Cummings, MD, MPH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Ellie Barbarash, M.S., District 1199C Training & Upgrading Fund, Breslin Learning Center, Philadelphia, PA
Objectives: To assess gaps in eye safety training for frontline healthcare workers.

Background: The CDC reports that 2000 US workers experience occupational eye injuries daily. Chemical burn, exposure to body fluids, abrasion, and trauma are all injuries common to the eye. Health workers are highly susceptible to these injuries, however little research has been done and no standard eye safety-training exists.

Methods: A needs assessment was conducted and data gathered was used to design a safety-training module using ‘low literacy, highly visual training methods’. Included were topics on types of eye injuries, prevention methods, PPE, and emergency procedures. This module was developed under OSHA Susan Harwood grant funding (SH24865-SH3) and was administered with satisfaction surveys and pre and post learning gain assessments.

Results: The needs assessment provided information about risk perception and knowledge of eye safety issues. Over half of respondents did not think their job had any potential for eye injury. Of those who did recognize potential for eye injury, majority felt the only way was through chemical exposure. Only 26% of respondents reported using eye PPE at work. The pre and post assessments indicated an overall positive learning gain for each question. Question 1 had the highest learning gain, and showed a significant increase of 26%.

Conclusion: This training is valuable to workers, as nothing like it currently exists. Learning gains were achieved for each question, and workers felt the training was very useful. If distributed more widely, it could contribute to the prevention of occupational eye injuries.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify current gaps in eye safety training among frontline health care workers Describe an effective protocol for an eye safety program for frontline healthcare workers

Keyword(s): Nurses/Nursing, Health Promotion and Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am principal investigator, have been PI or co-PI on numerous studies of workplace health and safety, and have worked on occupational safety and health for over 30 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.