Specsavers survey reveals shortcomings

Posted: 15th December 2014

PCCatMany workers spend a large part of their day looking at a computer screen, laptop or touch screen. However, a survey commissioned by Specsavers, covering 138 companies of varying sizes in both the public and private sectors, has revealed that fewer than half of all employers (47 per cent) fully understand the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, which 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.

Employers have a duty to ensure the provision of appropriate eye and eyesight tests, on request, to users of DSE 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. However, 49 per cent of employers who took part in the survey merely offer a contribution towards DSE eyecare and 10 per cent expect the employee to pay for it themselves.

Furthermore, 27 per cent of employers failed to comply with the Regulations either by not having an eyecare policy or by not communicating their policy to employees, which is one of the stipulations of the legislation.

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.