1. Introduction

The Directive "Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation" requires the College to assess the risks of all their work activities.

When work involves use of Display Screen Equipment, the new regulation dealing with when the Visual Display Units comes into force. An assessment of equipment and work area needs to be carried out in accordance with the requirements of Health and Safety "Display Screen Equipment Regulations".

2. User Definition

The Regulations have assigned specific and legal meanings to the words "User" and "Operative." Anyone who views and/or manipulates Display Screen Equipment is an "Operative."

The Health and Safety Executive Guidance Notes in paragraph 2 of the regulations list various criteria that can be applied to help identify a "User."

The University has designated a "User" as someone who typically spends 50% of a full working day in activities using a display screen.

Certain legal protections are available to "Users" the purpose of this bulletin is to indicate some of these legal protections.

3. Work Stations

"User" work stations should comply with the standards indicated in the Display Screen Equipment Regulations.

4. Work Routine

Most work routines are unlikely to classify people as "Users", nevertheless the following guidance on work routines may help staff to maintain comfort and efficiency:

i) An ideal routine would arrange the work so that periods of activity on the Display Screen Equipment are interrupted by periods of other activity.

ii) The purpose of the change of activity is to prevent the onset of fatigue.

iii) No single session using Display Screen Equipment should exceed 90 minutes; i.e., people may work longer than 90 minutes on visual display units, but should change activities during each session; a continuous 90 minute session should be followed by a change of not less than 15 minutes.

5. Eye and Eyesight Tests

"Users" are entitled to eyesight tests.

i) "Users" will be screened at regular intervals, either at their request or at the request of the University.

ii) "Users" who indicate an eyesight problem will receive an ophthalmic examination at no cost to them.

iii) The College will specify both the optician and the spectacle supplier.

iv) Where spectacles are required solely for Display Screen use then the College will pay for them to a standard approved by the designated University Officer.

6. Timescale

i) Any VDU equipment for "Users" brought into operation after 1st January 1993 must meet the requirements fully.

ii) Universities have until 1st January 1997 to bring all University "User" workstations up to the level where they comply with the Regulations.

iii) The need to carry out assessments, provide equipment and carry out eye sight tests is with us now.


Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
Guidance on Regulations ISBN 0-7176-0410-1

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