Fleet News

Do you set your sights on regular eye tests?

ONE in five at-work drivers has not had an eyesight test for the past five years.

Research of companies and their employees who regularly drive for a living found that more than 80% of fleets do not insist drivers undergo eye tests.

More than half had not had an eye test in the previous 12 months and almost one in five had not been tested for more than five years.

In the survey carried out by Specsavers, 4% of the 1,276 respondents admitted to having an accident or near-collision due to poor eyesight and 8% say they struggle to see properly during the hours of darkness.

The company’s director of corporate healthcare, Adrian Taylor, said: ‘Most employers are familiar with having to comply with legislation to have their employees’ eyes tested if they work with a VDU.

‘Yet in comparison to working with a VDU, company vehicles are potentially one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment staff use – to others as well as themselves.

‘It is extremely worrying that most employers do very little to ensure the eyesight of their employees who drive vehicles is checked.’

Steve Johnson, spokesman for the Fleet Safety Association, which represents suppliers of training and associated services to business drivers, said: ‘There is increasing evidence that business drivers are failing to take the issue of regular eyesight checks seriously. This is potentially a huge driver safety issue and employers really need to have robust driver policies that include a timescale for these checks.

‘Drivers should either be required to sign for or opt in to acceptance of these policies as part of their terms of employment so that there is increased chance of compliance.’

The Specsavers study also found that more than a quarter of drivers do not know if their employer pays for eye tests.

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