EYE HEALTH AT WORK


Protecting employees as well as company finances

Most employers are well aware of their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide a working environment that is healthy, safe and without risks. OPSM workplace programs help businesses comply with their obligations with respect to eye health, which in turn improves productivity.

How big is the problem

Eye injuries account for 8% of workplace injuries and around 50,000 incidents each year. More than half of all the eye injuries suffered in Australia are workplace related.

Not surprisingly, the majority occur in industries such as construction, mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing. It's a big issue that costs Australian businesses around $60 million a year, not to mention the pain and distress to the sufferers themselves.

What about general eye strain

Computer Vision Syndrome is now a big problem. Regular PC use can lead to repetitive strain issues for eyes just as much as typing can affect the wrists and arms. The symptoms include tiredness, headaches and dry or gritty eye sensations, all of which can be distracting, disrupt work and lead to reduced performance.

It's estimated that taking eye tests and adopting appropriate vision correction can reduce errors and increase productivity by up to 25% for workers employed in moderate levels of visual processing.

Who's responsible for providing protection?

Where there's an elevated risk of eye injury, employers are generally responsible for the costs associated with providing personal protective eyewear such as safety glasses and sun/UV protection. Employees are responsible for providing their own optical glasses if they need them for computer or desk work, but employers can assist them by providing easy access to eye care services such as those provided by OPSM mobile testing.

What should my company do?

Many companies are already introducing world class OH&S policies as an integral part of their obligation to ensure a safe and risk-free workplace. These policies recognise stringent legislated safety guidelines concerning eyestrain and related symptoms and the need for employees working in eye injury risk environments to be provided with appropriate protection.

OPSM helps thousands of Australian companies comply with eye care health and safety requirements by providing simple, cost-effective and efficient ways for employees to access general optical glasses, sunglasses and prescription safety eyewear.

Contact your local business relationship manager for more information

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