4. Eyes and eyesight testing
The law says employers must arrange an eye test for display screen equipment (DSE) users if they ask for one, and provide glasses if an employee needs them only for DSE use.
DSE work does not cause permanent damage to eyes. But long spells of DSE work can lead to:
- tired eyes
- temporary short-sightedness
DSE work is visually demanding, so it can make someone aware of eyesight problems they have not noticed before (including changes in eyesight that happen with age).
Employees can help their eyes by:
- checking the screen is well positioned and properly adjusted
- making sure lighting conditions are suitable
- taking regular breaks from screen work
Employers must assess DSE workstations and take steps to reduce any health risks.
Eye tests for DSE users
An employer must provide an eyesight test for a DSE user if they request one. The employer must also pay for the test.
This should be a full eye and eyesight test by an optometrist or doctor, including a vision test and an eye examination.
It's up to the employer how they provide the test. For example, they could let users arrange the tests and reimburse them for the cost later, or they could send all their DSE users to one optician.
Glasses for DSE work
Employers only have to pay for glasses for DSE work if the test shows an employee needs special glasses prescribed for the distance the screen is viewed at. If an ordinary prescription is suitable, employers do not have to pay for glasses.