Fleet operators should implement eyesight tests
Employers looking for cheap van insurance will probably implement numerous measures to prevent their staff members from suffering traffic accidents. These could include methods such as carrying out extra training, testing for drugs and alcohol, or providing incentives for safe driving.
However, an article published in Fleet News suggests managers do not make sure their employees have adequate eyesight before letting them get behind the wheel. The piece states 42% of businesses do not provide company vision tests while 56% do not keep evidence of an employee's last eyesight assessment.
Fleet operators must ensure their drivers have good levels of vision before letting them take to the roads. If an employee's poor eyesight results in a vehicle collision, this may affect the workplace's productivity, lead to an expensive repair bill, or increase the price of their manager's commercial van insurance.
The importance of eyesight tests
According to road safety charity Brake, an individual's eyesight needs to be tested regularly as some people will not realise they have a problem until the quality of their vision has deteriorated by as much as 40%.
Consequently, Brake recommends motorists have their eyesight checked at least once every two years. As well as ensuring they can react to potential hazards in time, a person who has regular eyesight tests could also be informed of any serious changes to their vision – such as cataracts or glaucoma – and take steps to prevent the situation from deteriorating any further.
Despite this, Brake states that every year approximately 12.5 million UK citizens, who are due an eyesight test, do not make an appointment.
Effective eyesight testing
To ensure someone is fit to drive, Directgov's website states they must be able to make out the letters on a new-style number plate from 20 metres away or read an old-style plate from a distance of 20.5 metres.
However, although this method of self-testing may be suitable for individual drivers, Fleet News recommends company owners carry out the following steps:
- Introduce compulsory, adequate eyesight testing for all employees who drive as part of their work. Repeat these assessments every two years and ensure staff members over the age of 50 have their eyes examined on an annual basis;
- Tell staff members, if they notice a change in the quality of their vision, to have an eye test immediately;
- Keep suitable, up-to-date records of an employee's vision tests;
- If an employee requires glasses or contact lenses to carry out work-related tasks safely, they should be provided with vouchers for these items; and
- Ensure employees know the signs and symptoms of eyesight deterioration.
Although implementing appropriate safety measures, such as driver training, may reduce the likelihood of a staff member suffering a traffic accident, these preventative actions will be of little use if they cannot observe potential hazards in time. Therefore, managers should carry out eyesight checks at least every two years to ensure their employees are fit to drive.
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