Keeping an Eye on Employees’ Health

Keeping an Eye on Employees’ Health image

Most business owners know what it’s like to successfully navigate their way through the array of legislation that exists in the workplace, from employment law to health and safety rules there’s a lot to keep on top of.

But did you know that companies working in particular industries must also play their part in looking after their employees’ eyes?


The Health and Safety DSE (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations Code of Practice states that ‘employers have to minimise the risk in VDU work for employees’. Part of this means that employees can ‘ask their employer to provide and pay for an eyesight test. Employers also have to pay for spectacles if special ones (for example prescribed for the distance at which the screen is viewed) are needed.’

As a West Yorkshire based Optician I pay regular visits to local companies to provide eyesight examinations for their employees. I’m often asked on these visits if using computers, tablets and smartphones can damage your eyes.

The three most common problems are:

  1. Visual fatigue – tired eyes, poor focus, discomfort
  2. Headaches
  3. Dry eyes

Visual fatigue or headaches may require vision correction to alleviate the problem. Occupational lenses can be provided which are specifically suited to people working in an office environment.

Dry Eye meanwhile is a chronic problem in that it will never be completely cured but the symptoms can be easily managed and treated.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry Eye means that your eyes may not be making enough tears, that the tears which are being produced are of poor quality or that tears that are produced evaporate away faster than they should.  The normal function of tears is to keep the surface of the eye wet and lubricated so any shortage of tears or reduction in their quality can produce a gritty, burning sensation of the eyes and can also disturb vision.  Most people blink 20 times in one minute but put them in front a computer screen and the blink rate goes down to just 2!  This is why computer users are more prone to dry eyes.

My #ValliTopTip to reduce the likelihood for dry eyes:

Blink! Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes look 20 metres into the distance and blink 20 times; or blink every time your click your mouse button!

Moin Valli

Managing Director of the Valli Group of Opticians in Huddersfield and Calderdale

Twitter: @ValliOpticians Facebook: ValliGroup web:

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