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Misunderstanding over VDU rules

Misunderstanding prevails in the industrial sector over VDU rules

December 2009

Misunderstanding prevails in the industrial sector over VDU rules

In a recent survey of 187 employers Jim Lythgow (Specsavers Dir. Of Strategic Alliances) found that while the majority claimed to be familiar with the legislation, many were unsure as to what employees were entitled to. The survey was published in the Safety & Health Practitioner News.

Just over half of those companies questioned (53 per cent) said they contribute to the cost of eye tests and glasses for VDU use, but 13 per cent fund the eye test only, and 5 per cent insist that their employees meet all the costs themselves.

The regulations brought in to the UK from the EC regulations in the ‘90’s and updated in 2002 were always meant to be light touch, but this appears to have backfired in many areas because H & S inspectors appear to be very lax in providing valid information or indeed in enforcing the legal requirement.

There is further information on the act on this site but in essence a regular user of a VDU or screen display unit (that’s either in time or a regular weekly job) is entitled at the very least to an eye screening provided by competent optically trained staff which might lead onto a full eye examination being required by an optometrist. The cost of either and/or all of these procedures must be paid for by the employer. If a prescription is required solely for the use of the VDU work then the employer must offer to pay the costs of a basic pair of spectacles.

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