Employee eyecare. It’s the benefit which always seems to sit at middle or even the bottom of many to do lists.
This week’s changes to driver licencing which mean regular medical certification for lorry and bus drivers will have pushed eyecare up the agenda for employers whose business involves these vehicles.
But for most organisations, eyecare policy is unlikely to be refreshed in any way in the near future.
There are, however, many good reasons why your organisation should take this opportunity now to think carefully about whether you should improve your approach to employee eyecare.
1) The mistaken assumption that employer obligations start and end with VDU use. While employers must provide routine VDU tests for those who use them, the fact that employers have a duty of care to employees who drive and are answerable to both Health and Safety and Corporate Manslaughter legislation in the case of any accidents means many organisations would benefit from looking at who they should be offering eyecare to.
2) The fact that work-related driving causes a disproportionate number of accidents. If you are driving for business than you are 30-40% more likely to have an accident according to the Transport Research Laboratory – drivers clocking more than 25,000 miles per year are a high risk.
3) A lack of management and process around eyecare. In my experience, the approach to eyecare in many organisations is piecemeal and unmanaged. There is little tracking of who is receiving their annual check and a poor understanding at any given time of who the employees are who are driving for work or VDU users. If you don’t understand your risks, then you can’t take manage them.
4) Bad eyecare costs your business. This isn’t just about the human and financial cost of accidents: vision is an important indicator of health. Poor eyecare adds to stress and allows early diagnosis of serious illnesses which would otherwise go un-noticed.
So although driver eyecare is important , I think the bigger issue is just how important it is for employers to take a new look at what they are doing to protect employee eye health for the good of the employees and that of the business.
Andy Philpott is sales and marketing director at Edenred