Employers in companies of all sizes must provide eye care under health and safety regulations but, as Laura Butler from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare explains, there are much wider benefits to health, wellbeing, and productivity, than most people might expect.
Obligatory eye care
Employers must provide eye care to all employees who use display screen equipment (DSE). This is true whether employing just one or 1,000 people and is a health and safety regulation. It’s also likely that eye care will be required for employees who drive for work and for anyone requiring safety eyewear, so there are very few of the working population who are not entitled to eye care.
This may at first seem to be an additional overhead for employers, but there are many positive aspects of eye care that can mean that this simple benefit becomes extremely cost effective.
An eye test will, of course, check the vision of each individual, ensuring that they can see adequately over different distances and peripheries, under different circumstances. This in itself can be hugely beneficial in the workplace as it can help with minor ailments like headaches and migraines, which are likely to affect productivity.
An optometrist will not only assess vision but will also look at the health of the eyes themselves. Common eye conditions like glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can be diagnosed and treated in their early stages, which could prove sight-saving.
Moreover, a full eye examination can be life-saving. The blood vessels at the back of the eye are indicators of what is happening in the blood vessels around the rest of the body. While checking the condition of blood vessels in the body would involve invasive procedures, they can be easily viewed in the back of the eye with the use of a simple torch-like instrument called an ophthalmoscope. An optometrist will be able to see whether any of these tiny vessels have thickened, narrowed or burst. Such changes can be indicative of serious conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, the risk of stroke, thyroid problems and many more.
The early detection of such illnesses and conditions is crucial and a full eye examination can make this possible. For the employer, the early treatment of an employee’s illness can mean less sick pay and absence cover, and greater productivity. For the employee, a simple eye examination can be a highly-valued benefit which may, quite literally, be life-saving.