The importance of observational methods for evaluation of interventions to prevent occupational injuries

Lipscomb, H. J.
December 2005
Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Dec2005, Vol. 62 Issue 12, p819
Academic Journal
This article presents a commentary on an article by G. Mancini and his colleagues, published in the December 2005 issue of the journal "Occupational and Environmental Medicine." In their article, Mancini and his colleagues have discussed the importance of observational methods for the evaluation of interventions to prevent occupational injuries, specifically for eye injuries. While many work related eye injuries are of a minor nature, serious injuries occur, and even injuries of a more minor nature, suggestively, can have significant consequences without appropriate care. Despite all of these things, the prevention of work related eye injuries has not received much occupational safety research attention. Mancini and his colleagues have shown a significant effect of the intervention over a 10 year period of time, providing evidence that a thoughtfully designed intervention can have a significant impact on this common, but poorly addressed, occupational safety problem that can have life altering consequences for workers. However, their community based approach focuses on small business operations that provide logistic challenges to interventions, and are perhaps even more difficult to evaluate. According to the author of this commentary, the importance of evaluating long term effects of interventions should not be ignored, and this is an area well suited to use of good surveillance systems and observational methods.


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