When Image Is Everything
When your business is based on creating the very best image for your customers’ staff eye care is very important. Based in Fenay Bridge CV Graphics has been one of Huddersfield’s leading Specialist graphics, graphic design, sign manufacturer, vehicle graphics and large format printer for over 20 years.
With a specialist team who can provide clients with some outstanding graphics and display solutions CV Graphics employee’s eye health is important to them. With clients as diverse as Breitling, Ice Valley, and recently promoted Huddersfield Town football club, CV Graphics team need an eye for detail.
When it comes to the regulations and legal requirements of employee eyecare confusion often reigns. There are subtle differences in requirements according to an employee’s job role. These can sow doubt in the minds of employers about whether or not an eye test is required and exactly who should arrange them.
Staff operating a visual display unit (VDU) or display screen equipment (DSE) will have slightly different visual needs to those who drive on company business or those who operate equipment or machinery. However, there are several overriding rules that all employers should keep in mind.
Does an employer have a responsibility to offer eye tests to all employees?
In short, no they don’t.
Employees who operate VDUs/DSE bear the burden of the responsibility and it is up to them to request an appropriate eyesight test from their employer. Employers are not legally obliged to offer eye tests as a matter of course.
However, the employer is obliged to provide an appropriate eye and eyesight test by a qualified optometrist under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. This applies only to ‘users’ of VDU/DSE, as defined as an employee who habitually uses VDU/DSE as a significant part of their normal working day. Specifically, if the employee uses VDU/DSE continuously for periods of an hour or more on most days worked.
It is also important to note that employers are not permitted to refuse to provide a test on the grounds that a new recruit has already had one provided in any previous period of employment.
CV Graphics, are focused on employee welfare
CV Graphics turned to Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham to provide their employee Ruth with her bi-annual eye test. Ruth works in the accounts department in CV Graphics premises in Fenay Bridge, just outside Huddersfield. Due to her role Ruth spends a significant part of her day using DSE. The possible risks Ruth is exposed to associated with VDU/DSE can lead to musculoskeletal problems, visual fatigue and stress. Ruth visited Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham and received a thorough eye examination including tonometry, fundus photography, fields screening and an extensive refraction and eye examination.
The examination found that Ruth needed glasses specifically for DSE work, however, she also needed them to see across the room as she also looks after the reception area. Ruth opted for a pair of our occupational lenses, allowing her to see her DSE clearly while maintaining a clear view of the reception desk and her surroundings. Ruth said “Immediately on arrival I was made to feel very welcome by all the staff they were very friendly and made you feel at ease straight away. The eye test conducted was very thorough and afterwards, I was very confident that they had done their utmost to check my eyesight health and answer any questions that I had, nothing was too much trouble. Afterwards, I spent quite a long time selecting my new glasses there was a huge range to choose from and I felt Sheryl was really helpful and assisted in my choice. All in all, it was a very pleasant experience and I did not feel hurried or rushed at all, everyone spent time making sure I was happy. I will definitely be recommending Allegro to my friends and family and anyone who is anxious about having their eyes checked as there is nothing to worry about you are in good hands.”
Corporate optical solutions for all
Corporate eyecare schemes such as those offered by Allegro Optical Opticians offer a good option for companies like CV Graphics who are looking to take a proactive approach to their employee’s eyecare and wellbeing. These schemes are usually popular with employees and require only a relatively modest outlay, allowing companies to reduce the cost of individual eye tests. They can be pre-paid, with the employer purchasing vouchers for eye tests and receive a refund for any that are not used, or they can be provided by way of an on-site clinic, screening most of the workforce in one go, minimising time away from the workstation.
Where tests show that a user needs glasses specifically for DSE work, employers are obliged to pay the cost of a basic frame and the prescribed lenses. If the user chooses a more expensive frame, the employer is not obliged to pay for it but may opt to contribute a portion equal to the cost of the basic product.
Under the current regulations, employers are not obliged to pay for an employee’s “ordinary” spectacles that are used to aid general vision. If an employee who already wears glasses is prescribed corrective lenses for DSE work, then the employer only needs to pay for the DSE-specific spectacles.
So we ask again, does an employer need to provide regular eye tests?
Only if these are required as a result of DSE work.
Employees are entitled by law to request further eye tests at regular intervals if DSE work is considered to cause them visual fatigue.
It is generally recommended that most people should get their eyes tested every two years but the frequency should be determined by clinical judgment and may depend on an individual’s age and state of vision.