The MCA code for safe working practices has recently been updated and now requires crew to wear sunglasses as a part of their daily work.
Crew Eyewear are on the docks as part of their daily sales and services. Talking to crew, we try to understand whether their eyesight is suffering or is sufficiently protected and whether their sunglasses are doing their job.
Itchy or stinging eyes and floating spots are the most common complaints from crew, leaving their eyes feeling rather sensitive by the end of a long, intense season.
It’s really no surprise. Yacht crew, especially the deck department, are exposed to harsh UV conditions for almost 10-12 hours per day in the high season. Early onset macular degeneration, pterygium, cataracts and corneal sunburn are serious eye diseases that can contribute to long term eye damage.
The glare is intense. Almost as much as a mountaineer climbing Mount Everest. Glare from the sea, the white of the yacht and even the white of each other’s uniforms is blinding. There is little alternative protection other than sunglasses. Every crew member is determinedly loyal to polarised lenses and rightly so. Polarised lenses significantly reduce glare and filter contrast.
The importance is clear, thus polarised lenses are required by the code. However, full implementation of the code is still far off. Many crew members still aren’t taking the correct precautions for themselves. The fit is incorrect, the lenses are delaminated (leaving no UV filter), not wearing a dark enough tint and worst of all in some cases no UV filters!
So, it’s up to their captains and management companies to take the lead. Changing mindsets and prioritising crew wellbeing is a long road. Crew are provided with sun cream so why not sunglasses?
The bulk of Crew Eyewear’s orders for sunglasses as part of crew uniform and safety come from new builds. We asked management companies if they could give us an insight into why this may be. They answered: “New builds must comply with the MCA Code for its initial auditing. If sunglasses are provided as part of uniform it’s another golden ticket in the box.”
Crew Eyewear offer competitive prices for uniform sunglasses. Starting at 99€ per pair of polarised sunglasses with 10-20% discounts for 10 or more pairs with a 2 years warranty on all hinges and lenses. In addition, they can add your yacht logo to the lens just like professional race teams. Your crew look incredible smart when welcoming your guests aboard. As a bespoke gift for a guest or owner. Crew Eyewear can engrave a name or initials to the side of the arm for a min of 1 pair.
Brands include: Oakley, Ray Ban, Dirty Dog, Finlay, Fresh for Panda and Zungle (bone conductive sound sunglasses).