Vision Conservation and Readiness promotes the visual, optical, and eye health readiness of all personnel as well as promoting visually safe working environments to the maximum extent possible. It is applicable to all military and civilian personnel who perform tasks in eye-hazardous jobs or environments around the world including deployment. The reality is that current military and DoD civilian personnel work in environments that bring new and complex vision challenges such as digital technologies and displays while operating in differing light and environmental conditions. This is in addition to the necessity to protect the health of the eye from more than just flying projectiles. Visual performance can impact the safety of the individual and those around them just as much.
The following subject areas define items that should be considered:
1. Vision readiness ensures that personnel have the visual ability required to perform their mission safely and efficiently.
2. Optical readiness ensures that personnel have the appropriate serviceable optical devices needed to function safely and effectively in the performance of their jobs.
3. Eye health readiness ensures that personnel have an appropriate periodic ocular health evaluation that addresses any conditions that may compromise the safety or effectiveness of the individual in the performance of their tasks.
The Vision Conservation and Readiness Program (VCRP) at all sites consists of three elements:
- Occupational vision has the goal of ensuring that military and civilian employees have the necessary vision readiness to work safely, efficiently, and comfortably. The scope of Occupational Vision includes:
- Determination of job vision standards for effective and efficient visual performance;
- Performance of vision screenings and eye examinations when indicated;
- Determination of optical readiness (Do they have the devices that they need); and
- Providing specialized optical devices such as specific industrial safety devices and night vision devices when required.
- Eye safety has the goal of eliminating eye injuries. The scope of Eye safety includes:
- Evaluating worksites in occupational, garrison, field, and deployed areas by performing hazard assessments that include evaluating the visual aspects of the task in addition to eye protection requirements;
- Employing engineering and administrative controls for hazards where possible;
- Providing personal eye protection equipment; and
- Providing training and education specific to eye safety such as how to properly utilize their eye protective devices.
- Environmental vision has the goal of evaluating and providing solutions for environmental factors which may reduce visual efficiency, safety, and/or ocular health such as the effects of illumination, radiation, and workplace ergonomics. The scope of environmental vision includes:
- Evaluating the workplace environment related to visual performance;
- Advising on the use of night vision devices and other special optical devices;
- Providing guidance on the visual effects of laser, microwave, and radio frequency radiation and other potentially items that could damage the eye; and
- Addressing the visual aspects of video display terminals, hand-held devices and others in relation to ergonomics.
The Tri-Service Vision Conservation and Readiness Program at the Army Public Health Center exists to optimize visual performance, promote ocular health and reduce the rate of ocular injuries through education and training to ensure the nation has a visually ready force. Active duty members of the Army, Navy and Air Force staff this program along with a select group of federal civilian employees who are highly skilled experts in vision conservation, readiness, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, preventive medicine, policy, regulations and protective materials designed for eye protection. The motto of the program is to
"Preserve the Sight to Fight!"
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