A career planning and employment resource for people who are blind or partially sighted

​Employer Concerns: Safety 

As someone who may employ or is considering employing someone who is blind or partially sighted, you may have some concerns about on-the-job safety. 

There is a considerable amount of research that indicates people who are blind or partially sighted are as safe, if not safer, on the job than their sighted co-workers. 

One example of this research is a comprehensive report published by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council called “Are people with disability at risk at work? A review of the evidence”. This report summarizes results from studies from Europe, Canada, the United States and it found that there is no significant association between vision disorder and occupational injury. 

Another relevant study is from the DuPont company. Dupont tracked its employees for more than 30 years and found that over time, their employees with disabilities were equivalent to other DuPont employees in job performance, attendance and safety. 

Likewise, a United States, National Industries for the Blind (NIB), a non-profit employment group, conducted a study on occupational injuries and illnesses. Their study demonstrated that workers who are blind or partially sighted do not have a higher incidence rate of illness and injury than the national average. Their study compiled data on recorded injuries, illnesses, and Workers' Compensation insurance rates for NIB businesses and compared those data with similar data from for-profit employers.

Insurance rates are based on the company’s industry and insurance usage. Research supports that employers’ group health insurance rates will not increase due to hiring a person with a vision loss, nor will worker compensation rates increase. 

Remember, if you have questions about how an employee with vision loss can perform safely, never hesitate to ask. They’ll be  able to tell you how the job can be performed safely using techniques and tools designed for people who are blind or partially sighted.​​​​