SSQR-01 Vision Requirements- Color Blindness


Hello-- 1st time poster here.

Our company is compliant to AS9100D and also SSQR-01.
In the past we followed the vision requirements for ASQR-01 before I had picked up the QMS work here at my shop. I'm very green to all this quality stuff so bare with me.
The ASQR-01 requirements for vision have been simplified. So I am now looking to the SSQR-01 vision requirements as we are still a supplier to that aerospace customer.

The SSQR-01 vision requirements read:

Procedures shall be implemented to ensure that all individuals performing visual inspection and/or other
product acceptance activities that require visual acuity be examined by a medically qualified person for
visual acuity and color vision per the table below.
  • Intervals shall not exceed one (1) year
  • Individuals shall be tested in at least one (1) eye, either corrected or uncorrected
  • Color Perception testing is required one (1) time only. Individuals shall be capable of adequately distinguishing and differentiating colors used in the method for which certification is required, the process being performed or inspection activity
  • Records shall be retained for each individual;"
SSQR-01 Vision Requirements- Color Blindness

We are a small manufacturing company of 23 people. 2 inspectors and 16 or so machinists. The inspectors and machinists get annual eye exams and prescription safety glasses if correction is prescribed by an optometrist. We have vision requirements for our machinists as well because they provide "in-process" inspection.

Just recently we've hired a machinist who had his eye exam and the 1 time color perception test showed that he has colorblindness (I do not know to what degree).
How do we go about ensuring he does not perform in-process inspection? Reading that excerpt also suggests we could find out to what degree is he color blind, and to what degree of color blindness can he perform in-process inspection? And how do we include that in our inspection procedure?

Thank you in advance!

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Welcome Justine!

Color blindness of some type is more common than many people realize. It is usually inherited, but can also be adult onset through illness, some medications, aging and exposure to certain chemicals. I had a client that assembled wiring harnesses and found one of their assemblers had color blindness during root cause analysis when some of their wires in the harnesses became swapped. They corrected it through careful staging of the work station.

I wonder if your employee would be helped with special glasses? You could consult with your eye doctor. I would caution to try before buying, as it seems that color blindness glasses are not a sure thing.

If no interventions help to relieve the symptoms, there are many types of inspections that don't rely on color discrimination. Tasks would need to be assigned that are more appropriate. To understand that you would need a clear understanding of which colors are affected and by how much. With the exception of tasks that are specifically barred to color blind people as per specification, such as NDT inspection, in the end the tasks would need to also be performed by one or more color sighted person(s) and the results compared. The results for this employee should be recorded as a type of competency since we at The Cove have (more or less) agreed that the term's definition is the ability to consistently perform in accordance with expectations. I would use caution with the records though, as I do not know if color blindness is a condition covered by HIPAA or not.

I welcome any other Covers to share their views on this. It is an important subject that gets very little discussion.
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