Research* carried out by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare reveals that 44% of employers surveyed state they are concerned that some employees may have eyesight that is not adequate for driving.
Despite this, only a third (just 35%) of employers surveyed include testing the eyesight of drivers as part of their driver policy and more than half (53%) of employers surveyed say they never test the eyesight of employees who drive.
Yet, 85% of employers asked, said they had had their own eyesight tested within the last two years (the typical interval advised by optometrists).
Suzanne Randall, corporate account manager for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: ‘It is revealing that so many employers hold concerns over their drivers’ eyesight and, therefore, over their safety. It may be that this is because they do not feel it is their place to intervene in what they may view as a personal matter – but this is simply not the case. Health and safety law applies to all work activities and clearly states that this includes driving for work purposes1.’
It may be that the cost, or perceived cost of driver eyecare also contributes to low levels of employer involvement. Just 36% of employers surveyed wholly fund eyecare for drivers. However, the survey also asked employers, bearing in mind the cost to the employer of a car collision (in terms of uninsured losses: fines, sick pay, lost time, damage of product, temporary labour, increased premiums, etc) at what price would an eye examination and corrective glasses (if required) represent value for money?
- 40% thought £100 or more would represent value for money
- 57% thought £75 or more would represent value for money
- 74% thought £50 or more would represent value for money
In fact, Specsavers Corporate Eyecare’s Driver Eyecare eVoucher costs the employer just £35 per employee. At this cost, 89% of employers surveyed would believe this represents value for money.
Suzanne Randall concludes: ‘We believe there is a job to be done in informing employers of their responsibilities, and employees of their rights. Poor eyesight is a major concern for road safety but providing employers with the tools to raise awareness of the importance of eyecare in the workplace we view as a positive move.’
*The research took place among over 120 heads of companies with a remit including driver management, health and safety or HR. The survey was carried out on behalf of Specsavers Corporate Eyecare by EMedia in November 2014.