Many workers spend a large part of their day looking at a computer screen, laptop or touch screen. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 specifically deal with the health and safety issues associated with regularly working with Display Screen Equipment (DSE) – i.e. on a daily basis for continuous periods of an hour or more.
The Health and Safety Executive has a free leaflet, ‘Working With Display Screen Equipment (DSE)’, which gives advice for employers and employees on minimising risks and ensuring compliance with the law. This includes advice on screen position, workstation design, working patterns and the employer’s responsibility for providing eyesight tests for employees.
Employers have a duty to ensure the provision of appropriate eye and eyesight tests, on request, to DSE users and to any employees who are to become users. If the eye test shows that the user needs glasses specifically for DSE work, the employer must pay for a basic pair of frames and lenses.
The leaflet also advises employers with many users of DSE to appoint someone competent to act as an assessor. The assessor should be trained so that they can:
- identify who is covered by the Regulations;
- assess workstation risks and put control measures in place; and
- provide appropriate training to DSE users.