Research into Driver Eyecare, released today by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, shows that despite having concerns for employee safety, and being aware of the costs of collisions, employers are still not taking heed.

The survey reveals that a quarter (25%) of employers have concerns that some of their drivers may not have adequate eyesight. This, coupled with the fact that more than half (54%) of employers do not offer eyecare to any of their drivers, makes unsettling reading.

Aside from the emotional cost of any collision, the Specsavers Corporate Eyecare research asked employers what they thought an accident could cost the business, in terms of things like sick pay, temporary cover, legal expenses, lost time, etc. A third of employers (33%) said they thought this could cost more than £5,000 and 85% believe this would be in excess of £1,000. ‘With specifically devised Driver Eyecare available from just £35, we believe the figures speak for themselves,’ comments Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.

Indeed, with the HSE making it clear that, as with all work activities, driving comes under an employer’s duty of care [1], implementing an eyecare policy for all drivers may well be a very good option for employers looking to ensure their responsibility is met.

It is worth considering the results of Specsavers Corporate Eyecare’s research in combination with other statistics:
· Nearly a third (30%) of all road journeys are made by drivers who are at work at the time [2].
· At-work drivers are 26% more likely to be in a crash than people driving on their own time [3].
· In Britain, 10 people are killed each week and 100 injured by people driving for work [4].

Jim Lythgow continues: ‘We understand that employers are under pressure to provide all sorts of care and benefits for their employees. We really do believe, however, that eyecare is one of the most valuable, best value-for-money, benefits that an employer can offer. A simple eye examination can save someone’s sight, even someone’s life, and we believe it would make sense for it to be made available under the duty of care of all employers.’

The research was conducted on behalf of Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, by E-Media, in June 2015, among 125 heads of UK companies representing a minimum of 19,000 and up to 39,000 employees. Fuller results are included below:

Do you provide eyecare for drivers (people who drive for work purposes, whether or not driving is their main working role)?

Yes, for some drivers 9%
Yes, for all drivers 37%
No, for none 52%

Do you ever worry that some of your drivers may not have adequate eyesight?

Yes 25%
No 52%
Don’t know 23%

If an employee had a serious car collision and was unable to work for a month, how much do you think this would cost the business in terms of things like sick pay, temporary cover, legal expenses, lost time?

Less than £100 4%
£101 to £500 3%
£501 to £1,000 8%
£1,001 to £5,000 52%
£5001 to £10,000 26%
More than £10,000 7%
References:
[1] HSE document Driving At Work, Managing Work-Related Road Safety, publication INDG382(rev1)
[2] National Travel Survey 2011, Department for Transport, 2012
[3] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2011, DfT, 2012
[4] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2011, DfT, 2012

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