More than half of companies unaware of hidden risks with prescription safety eyewear @ArcoSafety

UK safety experts urge businesses to make sure employees’ sight is adequately protected

An early survey conducted by Arco, the UK’s leading health and safety expert, has found 6 in 11 companies were providing inadequate prescription safety eyewear to their employees, despite conducting risk assessments and believing they had issued the correct specification.

Most companies are confident they have a robust process in place to provide safety eyewear that will protect employees and comply with safety regulations. Many health & safety professionals believe that they have done the right thing, and have specified the appropriate rated safety eyewear for the hazards in their environment. However, they mistakenly believe that a correct specification leads to the right products being purchased and supplied to employees. They are unaware that there may be flaws and hidden vulnerabilities in their purchasing processes, which means that employees end up wearing prescription safety eyewear that has an inadequate level of protection, and would not protect their eyes from impacts. Arco identified four major risks in the procurement process that can lead to non-compliance and to companies providing inappropriate eyewear that puts people’s eyesight at risk.

Over 2,000 people each year in the UK suffer eye injuries in the workplace, with 10%-20% of those injured experiencing temporary or permanent vision loss. However, the right eye protection could lessen the severity or even prevent 90% of eye injury accidents. With one in three employees needing prescription safety eyewear, increasing to one in two with an aging workforce, it is critical that the correct safety eyewear is specified.

The financial and business risks of non-compliance can be devastating. Managers are ultimately responsible for their employees’ safety and can be held legally accountable for accidents and injuries. In addition, new sentencing guidelines introduced in 2016 mean fines can now be issued based on the risk of potential harm to employees, long before an actual accident occurs. As well as monetary impact, accidents also cause reputational damage, disruption of work and negative employee morale.

Alex Turgoose, Product & Procurement Manager at Arco, said, “To keep people safe at work, it is critical that those who wear prescription safety eyewear are being given the same level of protection as those who are working alongside them in non-prescription safety eyewear. It is deeply concerning that this is not the case and to see the extent of the problem. Having employees wearing an incorrect specification can have an overwhelming impact on business and employees in the unfortunate event of an accident.”

Arco has extensive experience across the safety eyewear industry and partners with recognised specialist suppliers, who can offer technical support and give companies and employees the confidence that they are getting the best possible advice, products and cost efficiencies from their safety partner.

To check the level of risk in your business or for more information on how you can make sure to provide adequate prescription safety eyewear, please visit  /