Guide

Computer health and safety at work

Free eye tests for employees who use computers

All employees who regularly use display screen equipment (DSE) have the right to ask you to pay for eye and eyesight tests. This will be carried out by an optometrist or doctor and it's your duty to pay the fee. DSE users have the right to regular tests thereafter.

Employers only have to pay for glasses if special ones are needed for DSE work and the employee can't use normal glasses. Where special glasses are prescribed, you only have to cover the basic cost, ie the lenses and frames. It's a good idea to set a fixed limit for the basic cost of glasses and use your staff handbook to communicate this. If an employee wants to buy frames or glasses that exceed this limit, you must still pay the basic cost but the employee must make up the difference.

To prevent temporary eye strain and related problems, such as headaches, fatigue and stress, it is important to ensure that your employees take regular rest breaks and that workstations meet the minimum risk standards. See display screen equipment health and safety and computer health and safety: task design and rest breaks.