Companies who don’t provide eyecare for employees who drive are putting their employees at risk of accidents, an optician group has said.
According to figures by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, only 28% of companies have any optical policy in place for all employees.
The figures also show that only 16% of employers have a policy in place that covers all drivers.
Of those firms that are providing optical cover, many impose criteria rather than having access available to all drivers. These include elements such as age, job role and mileage.
Employers urged to implement eyecare policy
The director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, Jim Lythgow, said: “It is alarming that employers who are confident of their employees’ eyesight are in the minority.
“While many may wrongly assume that it is the individual’s responsibility alone to ensure their eyesight is adequate for driving, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) makes it quite clear that driving safety becomes a joint responsibility when driving for work purposes.”
Mr Lythgow is urging all companies to implement an eyecare policy for all employee drivers.
Employee accidents generate losses that cannot be recouped by a business, such as sick pay, temporary staff cover, legal expenses and potential increases in insurance premiums.
“When also considering the risk to the business’s reputation of not having ensured the employee had adequate eyesight, to apply a blanket eyecare policy seems like the obvious thing to do,” Mr Lythgow said.
Almost a third (31%) of fatal car collisions and more than a quarter (26%) of serious injury accidents in the UK involve someone who is driving as part their job, according to figures from the Department for Transport.
However, road safety charity Brake says this figure is likely to be grossly underestimated as, unlike other work-related incidents, driving accidents that occur while working are not required to be reported to the Health and Safety Executive.
Source: Health and Safety Practitioner
Date Published: September 12, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown