Most employers ‘short-sighted’ in providing safety over-goggles for staff who wear glasses

Important new research from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare has reveals that over half (54%) of employers only provide safety over-goggles to those who wear everyday glasses – which while meeting legal provisions, could be impacting on workers’ vision while wearing them and could also lead to staff removing them of refusing to wear them altogether due to discomfort.

Light reflection on regular eyewear can impair vision

The eyecare experts have long cautioned that wearing of goggles on top of glasses can cause an increase in light reflection between the two sets of lenses, which can impact the quality of vision. There is also an issue of physically wearing two sets of appliances, which can feel awkward and uncomfortable.

The solution to this issue is to provide prescription safety eyewear but the research shows that 29% of employers offer non-prescription safety eyewear only.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, said:

‘For many years, Specsavers Corporate Eyecare’s research has shown that discomfort results in employees being more likely to remove safety eyewear when it is not safe to do so. Over-goggles may be considered appropriate for short and occasional visits to areas where PPE is required. However, any employee who needs to wear their everyday glasses to comfortably carry out their working role and who requires safety eyewear on a regular basis, would benefit hugely from the provision of prescription safety eyewear.’

Design as important as protection

Although the main feature of any safety eyewear is of course the protection it provides, eyewear can only protect your employees if they choose to wear it.

Specsavers Corporate Eyecare has again proved that the appearance of safety eyewear is also significant. Over two-thirds (67%) of employers felt that the design of safety eyewear was important in that a more modern and appealing design would make employees more likely to wear it. Nearly a third (35%) said attractive design would mean employees would be much more likely to actually wear it.

Why eye examinations offer more than eyecare

The research went on to ask employers about their provision of eyecare for those who require protective eyewear.

Less than half (47%) of respondents whose employees require safety eyewear also offer eye examinations.

‘While there is no obligation under the health and safety regulations for employers to provide an eye test linked to the provision of safety eyewear, this may be a little short-sighted, if you’ll forgive the pun,’ said Jim Lythgow.

‘A full eye examination can help with the detection and monitoring of many serious wider health conditions, like diabetes, risk of stroke, heart conditions, some cancers and thyroid problems, to name just a few. In addition to helping to ensure employees have the most accurate vision in the workplace, an eye test could also help with ailments like headaches and eyestrain which, although more minor, can affect the productivity and performance of an employee.’

Providing employees with prescription safety glasses, and an accompanying eye examination, could, therefore, provide positive benefits for the employee and employer alike.

To learn more about the research, contact Specsavers Corporate Eyecare.

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