Should opticians replace lenses in prescription safety glasses?

You heard the saying eyes are the window to the soul? Well, a recent Health and Safety Executive panel discussion has taken this adage to a whole new level: the eyes, it would seem, are now the window to safety.

The debate was sparked after an optician declined to replace lenses in a brand of prescription safety glasses.

Citing health and safety reasons, the customer was told they’d need to purchase a new frame from them.

A visionary panel decision

The HSE panel decision went as follows: safety glasses are tested as a complete unit in order to foster compliance with British and European Product Standards.

These standards, even though they are not a legal requirement, exist to offer assurance that the product is fit for purpose.

As such, removing the original lenses and replacing them with prescription lenses would invalidate conformity with the standard. This, in turn, would require the newly lensed glasses to be re-tested by way of what would likely be an overly expensive process.

The HSE panel decided that the supplier should have explained this properly to the customer rather than attributing it to reasons of health and safety.

What’s your take on the issue?

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