35.72 - Prescription Safety Eyewear Program

Last updates August 18, 2005

A. General. Protective safety eyewear is required in certain work environments. This section describes a voluntary program of university participation toward the purchase of prescription safety eyewear for eligible employees who wear prescription glasses.

A-1. Department Responsibility. University departments are required to provide employees who work in hazardous environments with appropriate personal protective equipment that will reduce, or--ideally--eliminate, the risk of work-related injury or illnesses. In general, personal protective equipment must be provided by a department without cost to the employee.

A-2. Exception. Prescription Safety Eyewear. Prescription safety eyewear is an exception to this general requirement. For employees whose vision requires the use of corrective lenses, a department may provide goggles which fit over their prescription glasses and which provide protection from impact hazards. However, this type of protection is often resisted by employees because of lack of comfort or difficulty of use.

A-3. Special Considerations. In order to facilitate the wearing of safety eyewear where required on the job, and to encourage the use of safety eyewear off the job (where many eye injuries occur which could impact job performance), the university has established a voluntary prescription safety eyewear program for its employees. NOTE: Prescription safety eyewear usually provides impact protection only. Prescription safety eyewear does not provide dust, vapor, mist, or splash protection, especially when working with hazardous materials.

B. Process. Each department may establish its own general guidelines for determining an employee’s eligibility for departmental financial assistance through this program. The department determines the level of financial assistance that will be provided to eligible employees, but it cannot provide more than 50% of the total cost of the prescription safety eyewear package selected. The costs of eye examinations are not covered through this program. Employees that must obtain a lens prescription are responsible for all related exam costs (although these costs may be partially covered through the employee’s health plan or paid through the flexible spending account plan). Although participation in this program is voluntary, departments are strongly encouraged to provide benefits through this program to eligible employees. To obtain prescription safety eyewear through the university’s prescription safety eyewear program.

C. Procedures. To obtain prescription safety eyewear through the university’s prescription safety eyewear program.

C-1. Inform Supervisor. Employees should inform their supervisor of their interest in participating in this program.

C-2. Determine Eligibility. Supervisors are responsible for relaying employee requests, along with the results of any worksite eye-hazard evaluations, to the departmental administrator having approval authority. Environmental Health and Safety personnel may be contacted at (208) 885-6524 for assistance in evaluating an individual’s work area for eye hazards, if needed. A determination of the employee’s eligibility for receiving financial assistance through this program will be made according to department guidelines.

C-3. Obtain/Provide Authorization Form. A copy of FORM E-1 [See Sample] should be provided by the department upon request to interested employees, or may be obtained by contacting the Environmental Health and Safety Office at (208) 885-6524.

C-4. Complete Authorization Form. If financial assistance is to be provided by the department, the amounts should be entered on FORM E-1, along with the budget number and the signature of the authorizing person. The costs of the prescription eyewear cannot be charged to a budget without this authorization.

C-5. Schedule Appointment. After receiving departmental approval, the employee should make an appointment with an authorized vendor. The vendor will provide the employee with an itemized listing of costs for the prescription safety eyewear package chosen on the back of FORM E-1. Purchasing Services should be contacted for a current list of vendors selected to participate in this program.

C-6. Sign Form. The employee must sign the FORM E-1 before the vendor may provide the equipment listed.

C-7. Billing Requirements. Once the employee has been fitted, a copy of the FORM E-1 authorizing charges against a departmental budget must be attached to an invoice, and forwarded by the vendor to Accounts Payable for processing and payment.

C-8. Costs. Costs incurred that are over the limit set by the department, or that exceed 50% of the total cost of the package selected, or any applicable sales tax, will be billed by the vendor directly to, and are the responsibility of, the participating employee.

C-9. Purchasing Safety Eyewear Without Departmental Assistance. If an employee’s department does not participate in this program, or it is determined that an employee’s exposure to hazards on the job is not sufficient to warrant departmental assistance, any employee may still personally purchase prescription safety eyewear through this program.

D. Information. For additional information, please contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office at (208) 885-6524.

E. Sample of Form E-1.