Employers blind to the danger…
Even if a corporate manslaughter charge was upheld because an employee had driven with poor eyesight and caused a fatal accident, not one of the employers questioned thought this would raise the priority of eyecare within their organisation.
Laura Butler from Specsavers told FWTV that as a result of their research the company is calling for legislation to be implemented to ensure that drivers have regular vision checks. She said that if employers are not likely to be spurred into action even by a fatality or legal action, then legislation was the only option.
Over half of those questioned said that only if legislation were introduced would they give eyecare higher priority, while a third admitted that they were unsure of the eyecare requirements for drivers.
Safety expert Will Murray commented: ‘In our risk assessments with over 1 million drivers, about a fifth have not had an eyesight check in the last 12 months – linked to which declining eyesight is often a risk factor for middle-aged fleet drivers.
‘According to HSE/DfT guidelines, as a minimum employers must ensure their people are aware of and comply with the eyesight requirements set out in the Highway Code.
‘The best organisations do deals with local opticians to provide free eyesight checks for all their people on a regular basis.’