By Specsavers Corporate
Sponsored article from Co-Pilot
A recent Specsavers Corporate Eyecare survey showed that:
- 82% of employers surveyed believe ensuring all drivers have a full and current driving licence comes under the duty of care of the employer.
- 79% believe ensuring all company cars are taxed, insured and maintained comes under their duty of care.
- 70% believe ensuring employees’ own cars, used for work purposes, are taxed, insured and maintained, comes under their duty of care.
On the surface, this seems positive but these figures still leave a worrying 18% of employers not taking responsibility for checking drivers’ licences are full and current, 21% not looking after company cars and 30% taking no responsibility for their grey fleet.
-8% believe none of the above come under the employer’s duty of care.
In fact, health and safety law makes it clear that all work-related activities come under the employer’s duty of care. This means that the employer has a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees when involved in all work related activities, including driving.
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires: employers to take appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees and others who may be affected by their activities when at work. This includes the time when they are driving or riding at work, whether this is in a company or hired vehicle, or in the employee’s own vehicle.
For full details visit: www.hse.gov.uk/roadsafety/employers.htm
• 74% of employers believe ensuring an employee has adequate eyesight for driving, is part of their duty of care as an employer.
It is very positive that nearly three quarters of employers now understand that it is part of their responsibility to ensure their employees have good enough eyesight to drive. However, there is once again the flipside: that this leaves 26% of employers who still do not realise they have a responsibility to ensure their employees can see clearly enough to drive safely.
• 44% of employers state they worry that some employees may have eyesight that is not adequate for driving.
This is particularly concerning. With nearly half of employers surveyed anxious that some of their employees may not be safe to drive, if those concerns are shared by the total number of employers in the UK more widely, this is likely to represent a significant number of drivers that employers suspect have eyesight inadequate for driving.
• 35% of employers include testing the eyesight of drivers as part of their driver policy.
Despite their concerns over drivers with inadequate vision, still little more than a third of employers actually have a policy in place to test the eyesight of employees who drive.
• 53% of employers say they never test the eyesight of employees who drive.
This means over half of employers are relying totally on their employees to check their eyesight is adequate for safe driving.
• 85% of employers asked said they had had their own eyesight tested within the last two years.
It is interesting that the vast majority of employers tend to their own eyecare needs, whilst many overlook the needs of their employees. This is likely due to a lack of understanding that employees’ eyesight comes under the employer’s duty of care. Specsavers Corporate Eyecare is working hard to inform all employers that it is their place to ensure the health and safety of their employees whilst driving.
The survey asked employers, bearing in mind the cost to the employer of a car collision (in terms of uninsured losses: fines, sick pay, lost time, damage of product, temporary labour, increased premiums, etc.) at what price would an eye examination and corrective glasses (if required) represent value for money?
• 40% thought £100 or more would represent value for money.
• 57% thought £75 or more would represent value for money.
• 74% thought £50 or more would represent value for money.
In fact, Specsavers Corporate Eyecare’s Driver Eyecare eVoucher costs the employer just £35 per employee. At this cost, it represents value for money for 89% of employers.
Should a collision occur, the financial costs to the employer can be immense. Should it be found that the employee did not have adequate eyesight and the employer did not have a policy in place to check driver vision, there may also be legal implications for the employer.
Originally featured in Co-Pilot