Taking a closer look at safety prescription eyewear

Our eyes are vulnerable to injury as well as the aging process and deserve the very best protection. Roughly 80 percent of our sensory impressions are registered through our eyes, which can absorb 10 million pieces of information per second. This information is then processed by our brain and translates into action and response*.

Around a quarter of the working population is thought to require prescription eyewear, so safety prescription eyewear is a major PPE consideration.

Determining risk

Risk assessment is the key determinant in defining appropriate PPE. Where there is risk of impact, it is vital that safety prescription eyewear comprises lenses made of polycarbonate. All too often, through error or lack of awareness, employees are provided with “safety prescription” eyewear comprising lenses made from CR39 plastic (the norm for non-safety corrective / VDU eyewear), which do not fulfil the requirements for impact protection within the EN 166 norm. This exposes the wearer to risk and the employer to the possibility of litigation and reputational damage and this is risk that can be easily avoided.

The majority of workplace eye injuries result from flying objects, such as chips, particles, sand and dirt, or falling or swinging objects, such as chains, while splash contact with hazardous chemicals is another significant cause of injury. Mechanics, woodworkers, masons, plumbers, assemblers, sanders, grinding machine operators, welders and labourers are amongst the groups of workers most vulnerable to eye injuries.

Undertaking a risk assessment will help identify the requirement for goggles and/or full-face visors certified to EN166, which is designed for environments with objects moving up to 120 meters per second. This should be regarded as the mandatory option for those using high power tools such as nail guns or angle grinders.

Indispensable advice

Dispensing opticians play an essential role in providing the prescription safety glasses we need to keep the eyes safe. Wearing glasses with an out-of-date prescription can have a negative impact on our eyesight and, in an industrial workplace where visual accuracy is essential, there could be an increased risk of injury to individuals or those around them.

Dispensing opticians not only ensure prescriptions are accurate but have the expertise to check that frames fit perfectly for optimal comfort and vision. They also carry out eye tests that can reveal the early indicators for diseases such as glaucoma, diabetes and cataracts, which if detected and treated early enough can reduce the risk and scope of impaired vision.

uvex, a leading provider of safety prescription eyewear delivered from its UK manufacturing source, supports and facilitates the interface between the wearer, the optician, and the essential PPE. uvex partners with national and independent dispensing opticians throughout the country to provide workers with easy access to the prescription eyewear they require to carry out their jobs safely and effectively.

Eyewear made easy

The uvex prescription eyewear service is a user-friendly, web-based system that helps with the selection and ordering of safety and non-safety prescription eyewear for employees. The automated system can be set up by uvex for organisations of all sizes, and numerous accounts and passwords can be created for multi-site companies.

It can be programmed to only display pre-agreed frame and lens options based on workplace hazards. An authorising officer can create an order and issue approval for the employee to proceed with an eye test.

Once the employee has visited the optician, spectacles are manufactured by uvex, keeping costs and lead-times down. Unlike voucher systems, the uvex system invoices on an order-by-order basis through the existing PPE provider, meaning there is no need to set up a new account.

uvex’s simple-to-understand, three-tier pricing structure details prices for single vision, bifocal and varifocal lenses, as well as extras such as anti-reflective coatings, transition lenses, or sun glare tints. This way, there are no hidden costs when the employee visits the optician - approval for any extra costs is always sought before the company is invoiced.

Authorising officers can create and track the status of an order as it progresses quickly and efficiently from the manufacturing process to when it is despatched by the optician to the invoice. In addition, authorising officers can easily track and review historical data on the issue of safety prescription eyewear and run reports as required. This can act as a prompt for managers to ensure employees stay on top of their eye health and reduce the risk of compromised vision becoming a risk factor in the workplace.

uvex offers choice of metal, plastic and wraparound frame styles in single vision, bifocal or varifocal for safety or office use. All frames come with scratch-resistant coatings, a slip-in spectacle case and a lens-cleaning cloth. Optional extras are available such as anti-reflective and anti-fog coatings and are competitively priced when compared to the high street.

The eyes are too important to accept any compromise. Working alongside dispensing opticians around the country, uvex provides safety prescription eyewear that delivers perfect protection, vision and comfort.

About uvex group

The uvex group unites four companies under one roof: the uvex safety group, the uvex sports group (uvex sports and ALPINA), the Filtral group (Filtral and Primetta) and Protecting People GmbH for the B2C business. The uvex group is represented by 49 branches in 22 countries and produces by conviction with a focus on Germany. 60 percent of the nearly 3,000 employees (as of FY 2020/21) are based in Germany. uvex is a global partner to top international sports as an outfitter to countless top athletes. The guiding principle of protecting people is both a mission and an obligation. To this end, the uvex group develops, produces and sells products and services for the safety and protection of people in the professional, sports and leisure sectors.

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