Posted By Paul Shires

Posted on25th September 2014

With National Eye Health Week underway, Paul Shires, executive director – sales and marketing, looks at why businesses should be taking eye health seriously.

Whether we’re working at a computer screen, driving to meetings or operating machinery, our eyes are put through their paces in the workplace all day, every day.

That’s why we’re proud to be supporting this year’s National Eye Health Week, to promote the importance of taking care of your sight and ensuring it’s at its healthy best.

But with an estimated 12.5 million people failing to take regular eye tests each year, according to the Royal National Institute of Blind People, what can employers do to ensure their staff are keeping their vision fit for work? And where does the responsibility lie?

Since 1992, employers have been legally obliged to provide free sight tests for any employee who works at a visual display unit (VDU), and with the introduction of tablets and smartphones into the workplace, this obligation is more widespread than ever before.

Working at a screen for long periods can lead to computer vision syndrome (CVS), a problem affecting between 64 and 90 per cent of people who use computers, according to Boots Web MD. Symptoms of the condition include eye strain, headaches, eye discomfort, dry eyes, double vision and blurred vision.

To reduce the risks of employees developing CVS, employers should encourage their staff to take regular screen breaks every 20 minutes, to rest their eyes and allow their vision to refocus.

And by providing access to regular sight tests, employers can be reassured that their staff can get their vision checked and ensure they’re wearing the correct eyewear for their job.

A full eye examination can also detect serious health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, helping businesses to manage future healthcare costs caused by sickness absence further down the line.

For more information about National Eye Health Week and how your organisation can get involved, visit

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