Human Resources

Health and Safety

Eye-care for Display Screen Equipment (DSE) users

Health and safety Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992 (as amended 2002).

These regulations came into force on 1 January 1993 and they control the use of display screen equipment (DSE). The regulations apply to members of staff who are defined as users. In the case of such staff their workstation must be assessed to determine the health risks and the user must be provided with a free eye/eyesight test when he/she requests it. If the tests show that it is necessary for the user to have spectacles specifically for use with DSE then these must be provided free of charge to the user.

STEP 1: Definition of a User

The regulations define a user as an individual who habitually uses display screen equipment as a significant part of his/her normal work.

To help decide whether an individual falls into this category, a number of factors need to be considered. These are:

  • Sessions of continuous use for more than 1 hour nearly every day then the individual is a user;
  • Much display screen equipment work, especially that carried out by academics and other researchers is intermittent, which will make the previous statement difficult to apply. In these cases the total time spent on display screen equipment over a period of a week should be considered:
    • if the average is about 2 hours a day or more, the individual is a user;
    • if the average is less than 1 hour then, subject to an examination of the type of usage, the individual is not defined as a user;
    • if the average is between 1 and 2 hours, the type of usage must be taken into account;

Step 2: Line manager to complete the on-line eyesight request form

The Head of Department/Manager should complete the eyesight request form confirming the staff member is a DSE user (as defined above). A HS5 number must be obtained from Faculty finance managers or department finance officer prior to completion of the eyesight request form. The appropriate cost code must also be provided.

Step 3: Specsavers voucher

The staff member will be sent an email with an attached Specsavers eyetest voucher and will then need to make arrangements with any Specsavers branch to have an eye test.

The Specsavers voucher will entitle the user to a free eye test and £45 towards the cost of the spectacles if solely for DSE use.

Should they wish to upgrade to more expensive frames, lenses or varifocals this may be done at their own expense. Please note this scheme does not include the provision of contact lenses.

Some staff may already receive a free eye test (for example if they are over 60 or a glaucoma sufferer) but this does not exclude them from receiving a contribution from the University towards their spectacles should they require them specifically for DSE use.

Step 4:  Retests or special requirements

The staff member will be notified by Specsavers when a retest is required - usually this is every two years. The staff member will need to contact his/her line manager to complete a new on-line eyesight request form.

If a staff member needs an early eye sight test for health reasons or has any other special requirements regarding his/her vision please contact Occupational Health.

Step 5: Costs

The University has a contract with Specsavers for eyesight tests and therefore we are unable to reimburse the costs should they choose to go elsewhere. All costs incurred in the above procedure will be charged to Central Services.


Please contact Health and Safety if you have any further questions on Ext 3075