New research shows that employers do not fully understand the health and safety regulations when using display screen equipment.


Employers are falling short of health and safety regulations in terms of eye care policies, according to new research by Specsavers Corporate Eye care. Nearly a third of employers (32%) still have no eye care policy in place, despite the fact that 75% say the majority of their staff use displace screen equipment on a regular basis.

Under the health and safety regulations, this would be classed as ‘screen users’ and therefore should be provided with eye care. The report also revealed that just a quarter of employers (25%) said they fully understood the DSE regulations. Nearly half (48%) said they understood the basics but not the fine detail, 17% said they understood very little, or not at all, and 9% were not even aware of the regulations.

The research highlighted that the main cause to be putting employers off could be them wrongly perceiving the costs. Over three quarters (77%) of those surveyed thought a reasonable price for a full eye examination and glasses, solely for DSE use, would be over £20. 49% thought over £40 would be reasonable, 27% thought more than £60 was reasonable, and 14% stated between £80 and £100.

With so many employers overestimating how much DSE eye care is likely to cost, it is perhaps not surprising that the levels of provision are much lower than they should be.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eye care, says: “The DSE regulations have been in place since 1992. They state that all regular users of display screens must be provided with company-funded eye tests and glasses, if required solely for DSE use. Yet, 24 years later, there are still many employers not providing the appropriate eye care.

“The DSE regulations may be difficult to understand for some. There are many intricacies surrounding exactly who is covered, depending upon the precise amount and nature of screen use. This is why it is often better for employers to provide a cost-effective eye care scheme for all employees, rather than to spend time and money trying to work out who can legitimately be excluded from the scheme.”