Career by colour vision
The Occupational Health Centre (OHC) at Vadinar refinery routinely conducts fitness checks for prospective new employees. In FY2008, during the course of one such check for a batch of campus recruits, a young engineer was found to be colour blind and declared ‘unfit’ to work in the refinery and control panel areas. The young man was naturally devastated and understood the decision. But this got us thinking and what emerged was the project ‘Career by colour vision’.
The standard test for colour blindness takes only a couple of minutes for diagnosis and requires no specialised instruments or medical skills for examination. With this knowledge, we consulted some career counsellors and drew up exhaustive lists of contemporary career options. In FY2009, we launched a scheme to screen local students of Class 9-12 in Jamnagar and screened 1,664 students. The children diagnosed with colour vision abnormalities, were provided with a letter for their parents advising them to consult an ophthalmologist to verify the diagnosis. The letter also provided guidelines to these students on careers and occupations that they could opt for and what they should avoid.
Since 2009, the OHC team has screened over 6,000 students, from 25 schools in four towns around the Vadinar complex Around 200 students have been diagnosed with colour blindness but now they are able to make better decisions about their choice of occupation in the future.