Display Screens and Health

If you have any health concerns about the use of display screen equipment, it is most important that you bring these to the attention of the Safety Officer at the earliest opportunity. The issues of eye fatigue and musculoskeletal problems have already been explained on earlier pages. There are other areas that sometimes cause worry to users and these are briefly considered below.


Since the time that VDUs were introduced, many studies have been carried out to see whether there is a risk of harmful radiation exposure from screen-work. There is no conclusive evidence to support the fear, and many scientific papers show that the risks are insignificant.

Medical guidance has been issued on the subject and this states that it is not necessary for employers to take any action. Certainly, there is no benefit from so-called protection devices such as radiation filter screens. Some devices such as lead-lined aprons for pregnant women may actually be counter-productive.

Cataracts and Epilepsy

Cataracts in the eye cannot be caused by carrying out work with a display screen.

A small percentage of epileptics suffer from a condition called photosensitive epilepsy. It is theoretically possible, but unknown, for the flicker from a screen to trigger a seizure in those who already have the condition. Nobody else is at risk.


There are many reasons why people get headaches. These include: stress, tiredness, extended periods of concentration, poor posture and circulation, visual fatigue and the general state of health. Some people who use display screen equipment may be more likely to experience several of these factors, but it is working with the screen, and not the screen itself, that has resulted in the discomfort.




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This information is derived from the Health & Safety Manual and Kit
For further information about the Kit, visit The Essential Health and Safety Manual home page
  See also Health & Safety Made Easy
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