Employers and their employees are missing out by not providing workplace eye care, according to new research from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare. While 63% of UK employers surveyed do provide some level of eye care for employees, more than a third (37%) offer none at all.
The research, undertaken among 500 HR decision makers in UK companies, discovered that just 16% of employers state they provide workplace eye care for screen users.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations state that employees classed as screen users must be provided with company-funded eye care and glasses, if required solely for screen use. The research asked employers how much time employees are thought to spend looking at screens for work on an average day. Employers believed that 89% of their employees spend at least an hour a day at a screen. This means that 89% of employees covered under the survey are likely to be classed as screen users. With only 16% of employers providing eye care to screen users, there is a major discrepancy here.
Health and wellbeing benefits
The health and wellbeing benefits of eye care are wide reaching. An eye test not only measures someone’s ability to see clearly but also looks at the health of the eye. Opticians check for serious eye conditions which, if left untreated, can result in sight loss. An eye test can also indicate signs of wider health issues, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and various cancers.
Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare said: ‘Many employers are missing a trick by not providing eye care. They may well be flouting health and safety rules, and their employees will not be receiving the many associated health and wellbeing advantages that come with an eye test.
‘However, we are really pleased to see that 63% of employers do provide eye care in the work place. They are likely to be benefitting on many levels, with employees having their health and wellbeing supported which can undoubtedly lead to happier and more productive employees. Indeed, this is supported by the research, which shows that some employers provide workplace eye care not to meet with regulations but as an employee benefit in itself.’
For more information on DSE regulations and how to look after the eye health of employees visit www.specsavers.co.uk/corporate