89% of employers are failing to safeguard staff eye health according to a new study commissioned by the national sight charity, the Eyecare Trust and the healthcare provider, Simply Health.
Office workers can spend 128,740 hours staring at a screen during their working lifetime and 90% say they regularly suffer “screen fatigue”, headaches, sore or tired eyes, impaired colour perception and blurred vision.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations place a legal obligation on all employers to care for the eye health of staff who regularly use a VDU (computer screen) at work.
Research suggests that some employers’ failure to safeguard employees’ eye health and comply with the HSE Regulations is due to a lack of understanding that this legislation exists.
To avoid the penalties which include improvement notices, prohibition orders, fines and even criminal prosecution, employers are legally required to:
- analyse workstations to assess and reduce any risk to eye health.
- ensure workstations meet minimum ergonomic requirements.
- facilitate working routines that allow adequate breaks from intensive DSE work.
- pay for sight tests on request, and pay for a basic pair of spectacles if required solely for VDU work; and
- provide health and safety training for all employees who use DSE in their day-to-day work.