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Health and Safety - Display Screen Equipment - Employers Duties

What do employers have to do to comply?

Employers have to -

  • Carry out workstation assessments - employers should carry out a risk assessment of the workstations on which they employ people to work as users. They need to look at the whole workstation including equipment, furniture, and the work environment. They also need to look at the job being done as this can vary between users. The need to identify any special need of an individual i.e. if a worker if pregnant has an eye condition.

  • Ensure that certain minimum requirement are met - These requirements are normal good features that should be found in a work station and relate to - chair, display screen equipment (software, screen and keyboard), lighting, noise, reflection and glare, pace and layout, work surface

  • Plan the work routine - the daily work routine should be structured to allow for periodic breaks form screen work.

  • Provide eye and eyesight test on request - when employees request eye sight test they I should be provided by the employer at no charge. This should be done before they become a VDU user. This is a test by a optometrist or doctor. In addition, tests must be provided if a user experiences difficulties which could be caused by work on display screen equipment. These tests should be repeated periodically. Where tests identify that an employee needs special corrective eyewear for work on the display screen equipment, the employer must ensure that this is provided.

  • Provide health and safety training and information - Employers have to provide training for employees to ensure that they can use their VDU and workstation safely, and know how to make the best use of it to avoid health problems, for example by adjusting the chair. Information should also be provided about VDU health and safety. This should include any finding of risk assessments that have been carried out.

The following areas should be considered in user training;

  • Risks from display screen equipment
  • The importance of good posture and changing position
  • How to adjust furniture to help avoid risks
  • How to organise their workstation to avoid awkward or repeated stretching movements avoiding reflections and glare on the screen
  • Adjusting and cleaning the screen
  • Organising work for activity changes or breaks as necessary
  • Persons to contact for help and to report problems or symptoms
  • How to contribute to the risk assessment of their work (e.g. questionnaire and checklists)

Where can I get further information?

You can obtain more information by contacting the Health and Safety Executive