Worrying trend for protective eye-care removal

Specsavers Corporate Eyecare today reveals the results of research conducted across the Republic of Ireland into safety eyecare provided for employees.

A perhaps surprisingly high number of employees in the Republic of Ireland require safety eye-protection for their role, with 44% of employers confirming they have staff who work in a role deemed ‘at risk’ to the eyes and to vision. The number of workplace activities requiring the employee to wear safety eyecare is extremely diverse, with risks arising from all manner of impacts and substances.


In the anonymous survey, Specsavers broached the contentious issue of the removal of safety eyewear. A worrying 11% of employers admitted to being aware of employees either not wearing the specified safety eyewear or removing it while it is not safe to do so. A further 9% do not ensure employees actually wear their eye protection and stated that they did not know if it was being removed. This means that at least 20% of those requiring safety eyewear may not be actually using it at any one time, a figure that could well be higher in reality.

Dona McLafferty, corporate account manager for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare in the Republic of Ireland, comments: ‘Our research and our own experience lead us to believe that safety eyewear is often removed due to lack of comfort or fit. Well over a third of employers (39%) said they had employees who require safety eyewear and wear normal spectacles for day-to-day use. Of these, less than a quarter (24%) are provided with prescription safety eyewear. Over three quarters (76%) are provided with over-goggles, which is not a suitable solution for long-term or regular use. Considerable discomfort is caused simply by wearing two sets of eyewear and the light refraction caused by two sets of lenses makes this option inappropriate in many cases.’

Ms McLafferty continues: “Personal protective equipment needs to be just that: personal. For it to be worn at all appropriate times and to guarantee the protection required, it needs to be comfortable, specifically selected and properly fitted for each individual.’