Employers – why free eye tests are good for your staff and business

Visualise Training and Consultancy logo

2 January 2020
Source: Visualise Training and Consultancy

Employers are not obliged by law to offer free routine eye tests to their employees although this differs if you are someone who uses visual display equipment or screens in your role, and you feel the need for an eye test. In this case an employer must pay for this and provide glasses if you only need them for screen work, but no-one will be forced to take an eye test at work.

Eye examination
Eye examination

However, some employers do offer eye tests and at no cost to employees as a routine standard measure, yet these are not widely promoted. The result is that many employees are not even aware that a free eye test is available to them.

Visual change

You may also be unaware your eyesight has changed. You may be having problems such as headaches, clumsiness, temporary short-sightedness, tiredness in your eyes and general discomfort. It’s easy to disregard these symptoms in the belief you need a holiday or are just a naturally clumsy person and it’s surprising how many people do not link these problems to their vision. The importance of having a regular eye test often becomes subjugated to a much lower level of priority than visiting the doctor, even though 50% of incidents of sight loss are avoidable.

If you are a company owner and you offer free eye tests to employees, is your organisation doing enough to promote this service? Have you thought about monitoring when employees have had their annual free eye test? You could remind employees that an eye test for that year is due if they have not already claimed it.

Look no further

An eye test is relatively low on cost and can give a deeper insight into general health, other than just vision-related issues and adopting an eyecare policy within your firm, and advertising it, is a sensible measure. If occupational eye care is recognised by optometrists as being an integral part of physical wellbeing, why ignore it?

New technology has opened a wider spectrum into the implications of eye care; viewing the back of the eye, or the retina, is now possible and digital photographs show signs of wider health issues as well as the condition of the eye.

When offering a company funded occupational eyecare scheme, shout it out and ensure all employees are aware of this. They will benefit from a full optical examination, not merely an eye test to read a few letters.

The advantages to an employer are also huge; the conditions listed below could have been caught whilst in the early, developing stages and an eye examination offers a chance for preventative care, with the implication of saving billions of pounds each year in lost working days due to illness. The figures recording absenteeism and loss of revenue are closely linked to the health conditions detectable with a camera during a routine eyecare examination.

You might also be saving yourself the financial cost of retaining staff. In addition, you will be doing people a massive favour in helping them to learn about an underlying condition when it is treatable rather than when the condition has advanced, potentially saving someone’s sight and life.

See and be seen

Images from optical camera
Images from optical camera

Modern optical cameras can detect and monitor many serious and often life-threatening illnesses and health conditions, such as:

  • diabetes;
  • various heart conditions;
  • cancers of the eye, such as melanomas;
  • brain tumours;
  • high cholesterol;
  • detached retina;
  • hypertension (high blood pressure); and
  • glaucoma.

Corporate eye care with retinal screening saves money for a business as well as alerting employees to the threat of more damaging and serious conditions that could worsen if left undetected.

If any of your employees are struggling with their vision in the workplace and require a workplace needs assessment to identify solutions to support them in their job role, we can help you with this.

To find out more, visit https://www.visualisetrainingandconsultancy.com/consultancy/workplace-assessments/ or email info@visualisetrainingandconsultancy.co.uk

 

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