Provision of glasses to DSE users

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wendy barnford
Member - 0 posts
21 Oct 2010 4:11PM

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Nigel Dupree
Member - 1907 posts
16 Apr 2010 9:39AM

Yo Kane, welcome, as you may have noted from the above posts compliance in providing PPE equipment for DSE users is both a regulatory requirement and, although clearly stated, a minimum in terms of single focal leangth i.e. screen distance it does however, also provide an excellent opportunity to aid operator performance 'if' they also require reading glasses by offering bi-focal lenses reducing the temptation to either try and read with PPE screen glasses or have to swap them for "their" reading glasses every time they refer to desktop documentation.

Obviously the PPE equipment belongs to the company but it would seam "reasonably forseeable" that where where an operator requires both 'reading' and 'screen' glasses that it would be "reasonably mitigative" solution to come to a mutually agreeable arrangement between the two parties unless, of course, the employer just doesn't care about their operators occupational health or their operators performance - whateveeer !

As HSE RR561 Better Display Screen report 2007 suggests 58% of users experience "Screen Fatigue" significantly increasing the risk of not only screen errors affecting performance / productivity but MSD's, upper & lower body, it would suggest that complying to minimum requirements has systemically failed to reduce long term harm of an RSI type disability let alone other mishaps from slip / trip or post work accident linked to the visual fatigue (acuity & attention decremation) manifesting in double vision.

So you pays ya money and makes ya choices and takes ya chances that someone is going to make the connections in a chain of causation following an accident and whay hey there ya go - up's to you innit ?

Kane Blatchford
Member - 1 post
15 Apr 2010 3:08PM


Coming at this post a bit late as I am researching eye tests for my current company. I was just looking at the ACOP relating to the DSE Regs (L26).

It states: "Where bifocal or varifocal spectacles are prescribed as special corrective appliances the employer is required to meet the costs associated with providing a basic frame and the prescribed lenses".

Lyndsay McClelland
Member - 4 posts
17 Nov 2009 2:07PM


I originally posted this thread and can now update as to where it stands. In relation to bending over and breaking her glasses the company is not responsible as it is the employee's responsibility to take due care and attention in relation to her property.

As for eye tests it is the companies responsibility by law to provide for the cost of an eye test for those who use a pc and whose work involves habitual use of a VDU (i.e. one continuous hour or more a day) at regular
intervals and if an employee experiences visual difficulties which may be due to Display Screen Work.

If it is deemed that glasses are required purely for VDU work then it is the companies responsibility to pay for these. Any other adjustments such as bi-focal or vari-focal lenses cannot be included in the price and are the employees financial responsibility.

Cheers to all of those that helped me last year :-)

John Johnston
Member - 4 posts
17 Nov 2009 1:13PM

Thanks all there was too arguments here

A young lady has damaged her glasses at work whilst bending over to get behind a locker glasses fall of smash.

She has asked the company to reinburse her for replacement i have told her about the PC side of life etc the company refuses to replace them .??

Kevin Brown
Member - 366 posts
17 Nov 2009 12:14PM

But if it's the same presciption for DSE work as the one you need for reading glasses it is NOT da law. Only if the presciption is exclusively for DSE work, or includes such a prescription in varifocal lens would the employer have to contribute... (apologies for shouting).

Nigel Dupree
Member - 1907 posts
17 Nov 2009 9:33AM

Well now welcome to upper case John and for sure it tis da law my man

to assess the risk of anyfink that forseeably could result in harm or injury

it den follows that tis also da law to mitigate dat risk like in it you know.

Now then John, having established that what exactly is your problem ?

Is it that your employer has not conducted a DSE induction course and risk assessment prior to DSE operation ?

Is it that your employer has turned a blind eye to having a risk assessment or

Is it that your employer has ignored your request for them to conduct an in-house risk assessment or

Is it that your employer has refused to pay for your outsourced visual risk assessment i.e an eyetest with a qualified optician that will both establish the risk of eye disease as well as potential harm due to refractive imbalance or impairment that may be corrected with prescription lenses in PPE glasses?

Is this just an academic arguement over your rights and that's that or what are the symptoms your experiencing or why do you think you in particular need a risk assessment and mitigative action now as a DSE operator ?

Carole Simmons
Member - 610 posts
17 Nov 2009 1:48AM

If you read the thread you will get your answer.

John Johnston
Member - 4 posts
16 Nov 2009 2:07PM


Lyndsay McClelland
Member - 4 posts
1 Apr 2008 12:32PM

This post has been removed because it contravened our guidelines.

16 Dec 2005 6:23PM

Given that you know your prescription already, you can buy single vision glasses from from about £20.
It's a brilliant on-line service with an easy to use website. Who needs vouchers?

Robert Hacon Williams
Member - 59 posts
8 Jun 2005 7:26AM

Eye sight testing and the provision of glasses is covered by the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment ) Regulations 1992, Regulation 5 as Amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.

In essence the company has to provide:


1. An appropriate Eyesight test as defined by the Opticians Act 1989 and associated Regulations. The optician will know what is required once he is informed that the test is for a Display Equipment user. The cost for the test is the responsibility of the employer.

2. Repeat testing should be as advised by the Optometrist again at the employer's expense.


1. Provision of glasses is to be undertaken where the requirement is identified by the optometrist and where normal corrective appliances cannot be used.

2. The cost of the glasses is borne by the company at the minimum cost for the frames and lenses.

The provision of glasses does not mean that all glasses have to be provided. Spectacle wearers would normally not need additional glasses, however, wearers of bi-focal and vary-focal glasses may well need additional glasses and these would be covered by the Regulations.

If the glasses are lost or damaged they must be replaced free of cost by the employer. However, the employee could be disciplined for loss or damage to company property under Sections 7 and 8 of the Health and Safety (Etc) Act 1974. These Sections require employees to act responsibly at work and to take care of items provided in the interests of health and safety.

The employee can upgrade the frames and lenses at their own cost.

Some additional points not covered by the Regulations:

Some staff may be allowed free eye tests under NHS regulations;

1. Diabetics.

2. Those with a family history of Age related Macular Degeneration.

3. Those aged over 60 years.

4. Those suffering from Glaucoma or with a close relation with Glaucoma, i.e. parent, sibling, grandparent.

I hope this helps.

8 Jun 2005 7:26AM

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Charlie Peel
Member - 41 posts
7 Jun 2005 8:04AM

The DSE regs require the employer to provide corrective glasses which are required for using DSE equipment, or for the eye test. As long as you aren't paying more than the cost of the glasses there is no benefit to the employee you are only meeting legal requirements

7 Jun 2005 8:04AM

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Neil Travis
Member - 1 post
6 Jun 2005 3:06PM

My company reinburses users of DSE glasses to the tune of £100 plus the cost of the eye test.

A question has arisin now that this is a taxable benefit. Can you advise if this is the case?

6 Jun 2005 3:06PM

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10 Feb 2005 9:05AM

We will reimburse the cost of the voucher. The employer has a duty to provide the 'special corrective appliances' to employed DSE 'users' where normal glasses cannot be used and the provided eyesight test has found these to be necessary. I believe that this requires the employer to meet the reasonable cost of the glasses. The voucher has shown a reasonable cost to the employer. To insist on using only a specific supplier seems unnecessary and, perhaps, leaves one open to criticism. Presented with this decision, very few 'users' are likely to opt for the alternative course of action but some goodwill should be retained.

Ted Thornton
Member - 28 posts
3 Feb 2005 4:24PM

The requirement is to provide eye correction (Glasses) where these are specifically needed to use DSE. If you have a satisfactory system (and the Specsavers is better than most!), if the employee wishes to use alternatives, they should pay all themselves - you have offered a suitable solution which they are not prepared to take. Any reimbursement should be at your discretion - if at all.

Charlie Peel
Member - 41 posts
3 Feb 2005 2:31PM

Our company uses a voucher system run by Specsavers where the company purchases a voucher from Specsavers for around £35 which gives the employee a potential benefit of around £54 (i.e. the cost of the eye test and a pair of single vision specs).

An employee wishes to use an alternative optician, we have agreed that we will refund an amount to the employee but we are not sure if we should refund them the £35 (the cost to the company of the Specsavers voucher) or £54 (the value of the Specsavers voucher).

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