Preventing Eye Injuries in the Workplace with an Rx Eyewear Program
In today’s workplace, more than 20,000 eye injuries are reported each year. Of those injuries, 90 percent are preventable with the proper workplace injury prevention measures.
Ensuring that your employees have the right eye protection for their job, however, is easier said than done. Depending on the type and size of your facility, hazards may go unnoticed until an injury occurs.
As a Safety Eyewear Consultant, I see violations every day. Even if an employee wears safety glasses on the job, they might not be properly fitted for the hazards of their specific job. Common job hazards such as fogging and blue light require an extra layer of protection in the form of specially coated lenses.
What’s even more complicated is that machines now have computer screens, which require workers to wear two different types of safety glasses - a computer pair as well as their standard safety eyewear. My job is to work with each employee to provide a solution for both.
Benefits of an Rx Eyewear Program
When an employee comes to me to purchase eyewear, I do a full consultation based on each type of hazard they may come into contact with during their workday. Once we determine the type of safety eyewear they need and the specific features they prefer, they select their eyewear plan from a custom-designed menu created by their employer.
This allows each employee to select the best option based on their needs and price point. After the initial consultation, I send the employee’s prescription to our lab. In most cases, their glasses are delivered within two weeks.
During the final consultation, I demonstrate the proper way the eyewear should be worn on the job and answer any additional questions the employee may have. All information and invoices are then uploaded in NetSITE, our eligibility tracking software.
Benefits of having an onsite Rx Program include:
No Excuses – No more excuses for not finding time to get safety glasses.
Convenience – We offer regularly scheduled onsite appointment dates and hours at your facility. Just bring a current eyeglass prescription – we bring the optician and the eyewear to you.
Selection – Our selection of safety glasses is by far the largest you will see anywhere. Eyewear is a fashion accessory and if you offer employees a fashionable, comfortable, affordable pair of glasses, they will wear them without complaints.
Compliance – If your Rx program requires specific frame choices based on hazard analysis, then the onsite optician will display and fit only those frames that meet your program guidelines.
Consistency – Having your program onsite allows for consistent implementation and interpretation of your safety program. The onsite optician is very familiar with the program and will become an extension of your safety program.
Service – Repairs, adjustments, and consultation pertaining to eyewear can all be done onsite saving your employees valuable time.
Cost-Savings of Workplace Injury Prevention
When compared with the cost of an employee injury, an Rx program is not only cheaper, but it’s the best way to ensure employee safety and compliance. According to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical treatment, and worker compensation.”
This does not include the cost of the potential violations that may be accrued due to an employee failing to wear their eye protection correctly or from wearing none at all.
Relying on your employees to go to their doctor for safety eyewear or using a kiosk program has downsides because both ultimately leave safety in the hands of the employee.
With an onsite Rx program, I’m able to be at your facility for every shift in order to ensure each employee has the eyewear they need to do their job. If their frames break or a replacement is needed, I’m there to fix problems on the spot.
Want to learn more about creating your own custom RX Program?
CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can prevent eye injuries on your worksite with our helpful guidebook.
About Kirk Mackenzie:
Kirk Mackenzie has a lifetime of experience in the optical industry. He currently works as a Safety Eyewear Consultant for ORR Safety in the Houston area. In second grade Kirk manufactured his first pair of glass lenses at his family’s wholesale optical lab. Upon completion of his degree from Baylor University in 1984, he stayed with the family business until its sale in the late 1990s.
His next optical journey was with LBI/Atlantic Optical for almost 20 years as Regional Manager for Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana selling frames, lenses, and cases to many optical chains as well as larger ECP's. During this time Kirk helped design an entire line of metal prescription safety frames for a large eyewear distributor in Texas. When his father became ill, Kirk came on board with ORR Safety to manage the Houston prescription safety eyewear market.