Creating a Safe Work Environment for an Aging Workforce With Employee Benefits in Oklahoma and Nationwide

Creating a Safe Work Environment for an Aging Workforce
October 13, 2021
James Ashford

As we return to regular work in offices, more and more employees are starting to experience vision problems due to spending a lot of time at home. This is a bigger concern for your older employees who are naturally at a higher risk of vision and eye health problems. Thus, making vision care a stronger part of your employee benefits in Oklahoma and beyond would go a long way in safeguarding the health and productivity of your workforce.

Although younger workers bring new skills and might be more tech-savvy, older workers bring wisdom and experience. Rethink workplace practices to help your older employees adjust back in the office safely.

Environmental contributors to eye problems for older workers

Glare

Glare can reduce vision and cause eye strain. Sunlight, computer screens and poor indoor lighting all cause glare in the workplace. People become more sensitive to it with age, so it’s important to limit their exposure in the workplace.

For a quick and simple fix, use curtains or blinds to limit sunlight on computer monitors, and encourage people to sit a few feet away from a window. Or, adjust the contrast on computer screens and use filters to deaden glare. Additionally, consider anti-glare glasses to reduce eye strain. Make sure that workers who need corrective glasses or contacts can afford them as part of their employee benefits in Oklahoma or elsewhere.

Work-related strain

In addition to the surroundings, the tasks that employees complete daily can contribute to eye problems. For example, reading documents (both paper and electronic) for long periods can lead to eye strain, but nowadays, electronic documents tend to be more common. As a result of this digital eye strain, employees may take longer breaks due to the higher stress and discomfort.

To resolve this, teach your employees the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to focus on something 20 feet away. This will help decrease eye strain.

What you can do to help your older employees

Establish a safe working environment and prioritize eye safety

Eye injuries in the workplace are unfortunately very common. According to NIOSH, about 2,000 U.S. workers need treatment for a job-related eye injury every day. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment. This will reduce the chances of accidents and injuries.

You can take steps to make your workplace as safe as possible for your employees’ eyes. To begin, establish first aid procedures for eye injuries, and ensure you have easy access to all equipment (e.g., eyewash stations, cold compresses, etc.).

Also, make sure to provide proactive measures as well, such as regular training and adequate resources for employees. The good news is that eye protection can prevent or decrease the severity of eye injuries. Specific equipment depends on the nature of the work involved and could be anything from safety goggles to protective screens. Make periodic training mandatory to ensure all employees – both new and tenured, young and old – are up to date with the latest procedures.

Insist on annual comprehensive vision checks

Health problems tend to come up more with age, so protecting your older employees is important. Eye health issues don’t just impact performance and productivity, but they can also be related to other health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or arthritis.

An annual eye exam in a vision benefits package can promote the long-term health of your employees. The exam should be comprehensive and performed by a qualified eye care provider. A thorough eye exam can also help detect health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Cataracts in particular are the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40.

The good news is that cataracts and glaucoma can be treated. The earlier they are diagnosed, the better the outcome. Thus, it’s important to encourage workers to participate in annual exams and correct problems before they take a toll on their health. Consider adding more substantial employee benefits in Oklahoma and elsewhere to help support your employees’ wellbeing.

Offer vision care benefits to your older employees

Older employees bring experience and unique skills to the workplace, so offering them great benefits is only fair. Comprehensive vision care benefits come with annual eye exams and negotiated offers when buying eyeglasses and lenses. Benefits like this help offer your employees much-needed care as they spend more time at home or in front of the screen.

Furthermore, quality vision plans help you, the employer, save tax money. This is because vision plan contributions are deducted from the employee’s payroll pretax. The right vision plan will save your employees from having to pay out of pocket, save you on taxes and help create an overall more valuable package.

Your older employees can access employee benefits in Oklahoma

Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma offers pre-paid vision plans that will allow your older employees to see a qualified eye care professional and maintain their eye health. Making quality eye care accessible is to the advantage of both the employee and employer, safeguarding both health and productivity.

Vision Care Direct can help you provide eye care to your employees. Contact us to learn more about the pre-paid plans.

Not sure where to get started with recommending self-funded plans? Vision Care Direct of Oklahoma is pre-paid plan provider with and extensive of specialists who deliver eye care in Tulsa and nationwide with excellent value for employers and plan recipients.

Find out more about our self-funded plans and other flexible options.

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