Free eye tests for employees called for

Clearly write to CEOs of large global companies to highlight the business benefits of offering free eye tests and affordable glasses for employees

Indian tea pickers

Over 120 of the world’s largest employers are being urged to provide eye tests to their employers in developing countries.

The founder of the Clearly campaign, James Chan, has written directly to the CEOs of companies including Amazon, Tesco and McDonald’s detailing the benefits that offering free work-based sight tests and affordable glasses can have for large companies

Research, which was sponsored by the Clearly campaign and has been published in The Lancet Global Health, found that providing spectacles to workers dramatically increases productivity that is the equivalent to an extra day of work a week. Over 20 million employees could benefit from these measures, the research highlights.

Entitled PROSPER (PROductivity Study of Presbyopia Elimination in Rural dwellers), the randomised controlled study demonstrated that providing glasses to tea pickers in India improved their productivity by 21.7%.

Mr Chen said: “Employers must now take a proactive role in tackling poor vision by providing free sight tests and affordable glasses for their workers. It’s a win, win for business – improving their employees’ wellbeing and satisfaction at work, and improving their own bottom line.”

Clearly highlighted that a third of the global population cannot see clearly due to a lack of access to eye care.

Read more about PROSER in OT’s interview with director of research at Orbis International and Ulverscroft chair of global eye health at Queen’s University Belfast, Nathan Congdon.