The widespread use of smart phones means that people are using display screen equipment more than ever in the workplace, so it is important that eye care policies keep pace.
It may surprise some to know that smart phones do count under the DSE regulations. This is made clear in the related guidance. Users should, therefore, be provided with the same level of eye care as their colleagues using traditional computer screens.
We undertook research among 500 UK HR decision makers, including 135 in large businesses and 365 SMEs. Just 2% of respondents said employees did not use a screen, including smart phones, for work purposes. The findings also showed that 88% of respondents said employees spend on average an hour or more each day looking at screens.
The vast majority of employers (67%) said employees spend three or more hours a day using screens for work purposes and 17% believed them to spend in excess of 6 hours. With the average time spent looking at screens being 4.1 hours, the vast majority of employees are almost certainly likely to be entitled to DSE eye care, funded by the employer.
It is of no surprise that screens have become a significant part of our working day. What is important, is that eye care policies keep up with the increasing amount of screen use. It is now likely to be a better use of resources for an employer to consider a blanket eye care policy that provides basic cover for all employees, rather than spend time thinking who could be excluded. Eye care can provide not only a way to meet with health and safety requirements but is also a valued employee benefit. There is a much wider health and wellbeing aspect to eye care too, with a simple eye test being able to help detect and monitor serious conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease as well as some cancers, to name but a few.
How long do you think employees spend looking at screens (including smart phones) for work purposes per day on average?
- 0 hours: 2%
- 1+ hours: 88%
- Up to 3 hours: 27%
- 3 to 6 hours: 50%
- 6+ hours: 17%
Average hours: 4.1
To find out more about the DSE regulations, visit www.hse.gov.uk