UK office workers not taking care of their eyes

Health and Safety Eye Care

A new poll of office workers has found that 90% of them have experienced symptoms of screen fatigue while at work. Headaches, eyestrain and problems with close or long distance vision are all common occurrences, according to the poll commissioned by the Eyecare Trust and Simplyhealth in order to raise awareness of National Eye Health Week which took place 13-19th June.

Only one in five workers currently follow the recommendations from eyecare professionals and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) that suggest anyone using a computer for long periods of time should take regular breaks to rest their eyes. A quarter of those polled only stop looking at the screen during lunchtime and important meetings, while one in ten do not stop even for lunch.

Because we nowadays spend on average three and half months of the year staring at screens, it has become more vital than ever to take good care of our eyes. Despite this, 40% of the people polled were unaware that if they use a computer at work they are able to claim for free eye tests paid for by their employer and a contribution towards the cost of any eyewear required for VDU work.

Since 1992 it has been a requirement of European law for employers to minimise the risks that are posed by working with VDU equipment by ensuring that a workplace and job has been designed appropriately. This involves analysing workstations to identify and reduce risks, planning work to allow for breaks or changes of activity plus arranging eye tests on request and providing spectacles if required.

In addition, the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations of 1992 also requires that an employer provide adequate and suitable training. Because Howlett Health and Safety Services understand how important it is for a business to safeguard the health of their employees, if you hire us to conduct a full VDU assessment of your organisation we will also provide VDU training to your company at a specially discounted rate.

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