As a defined 'user' of display screen equipment you have a statutory entitlement to eyesight testing. In certain specific circumstances you may be entitled to corrective appliances (normally glasses).
Correctly working with a display screen will not cause deterioration in your eyesight. Such work may however identify an existing defect and you may suffer visual fatigue after prolonged spells of concentration with the eyes continually focused at the same distance. Only a change in your work habits can overcome these problems - try to take 'eye-breaks' regularly by looking away and relaxing the eye muscles.
You may also get sore eyes if you work in a very dry environment. This is not helped by the natural tendency to blink less whilst concentrating on the screen. Your employer has to maintain adequate levels of humidity to try and reduce discomfort from dry air - a problem often associated with modern buildings that have self-contained environments.
You can help yourself by taking a few simple steps:-
You can request your company to provide an eye test (to determine VDU sight deficiency only). However, this does not give you the right to go to an optician without first advising This Corporation so that the appointment and optician can be approved.
You cannot be forced to undergo a test against your wishes.
As the company will pay for the test they will require you to attend an optician of their choice. This may be a local organisation (to minimize time away from work).
Where the results of an eyesight test show that you need glasses specifically to work with display screen equipment, the company will meet the cost of supplying the basic frame and lenses.
You will have to follow procedures laid down by the company - do not make your own arrangements and expect the company to pay retrospectively. If the company is to pay, then you must always obtain authorization via the Safety Officer before instructing an optician to make up your glasses.
Note that only basic appliances need be supplied, and this does not include so-called 'VDU glasses' that are incorrectly advertised as being a protection device. If you want to have more up-market glasses or frames, or tinted lenses, then you will be responsible for the extra cost. If you need glasses for every day use then you will have to pay the cost. It is only where the need is specific to using your screen that the entitlement arises.
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This information is derived from the Health & Safety Manual and Kit
For further information about the Kit, visit