It is general knowledge that it’s illegal to drive a vehicle without necessary corrective eye-wear and drivers who break the law can be fined, have points on their licence or even jailed in extreme cases. What about the employers, those that run fleets of vehicles? Do they have a legal responsibility to ensure their employees vision is up to standard?
The answer is yes!
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 establishes a duty of care on a business, not just toward the employee but members of the public as well.
As a result, fleet managers need to ensure that their drivers are competent and safe to drive and this includes making sure their vision is at the required legal standard. The Health and Safety Executive is becoming increasingly involved in work related road accidents to ensure this law is properly enforced.
What can businesses do to evidence good practice in this area?
- Provide regular (at least annual) eyesight tests for all drivers and make the wearing of corrective eyewear mandatory.
- Undertake and record random eye-sight tests by getting drivers to read number from at least 20m away
- Provide access to accredited online eye testing such as that provided by EyeLab – http://www.vutest.com/seedrive/index-seedrive.htm
Could eye care be provided as an employee benefit?
There are various eye care schemes available that can be set up as employee benefits.
Companies such as VSP Vision Care – https://vsp-uk.co.uk/ can set up a scheme to carry out eye tests and provide discounts to staff for any required eyewear. They can even include funding for laser surgery.
If you would like any help or advice on how to keep your company compliant in this area or any additional advice on Eye Care or Employee Benefits, please don’t hesitate to contact ICB's Senior Employee Benefits Consultant, Mark Beach.