Fleet News

Insight: Employers fail eyesight test

Specsavers is calling for clarity over eyecare and work-related driving after research revealed employers are divided over their responsibilities.

The research involved more than 200 employers, in both the private and public sector, representing 356,611 employees.

More than a third (37%) of employers believe they are responsible, but 57% believe it is the responsibility of the individual employee. The remaining 6% did not know.

“This is a particularly confusing area of legislation,” said Laura Butler, corporate account manager for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.

“By law, each individual is responsible for ensuring they are fit to drive. However, employers have a duty of care.

“The Health and Safety Executive states that health and safety law applies to on-the-road work activities as to all work activities and the risks should be effectively managed within a health and safety management system.”

Having good eyesight is a basic requirement of safe driving, yet many organisations do not have policies in place for testing eyesight or promoting the importance of ensuring good vision. Only one in four (26%) employers test the eyesight of their drivers.

As a minimum, employers should require staff to complete a mandate promising to inform the company if their eyesight deteriorates.

However, it is possible to suffer vision reduction of 40% before noticing a problem; for this reason, experts recommend eyesight testing at least every two years.

Many drivers ignore the advice; every year in the UK, 12.5 million people who are due an eyesight test do not have one.

A Fleet News poll discovered that one in five respondents last had their eyes tested more than two years ago (Fleet News, February 16).

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