Corporate Governance

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.

In order to comply with Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 as amended 2002, the University of Portsmouth provides employees with an eye care service and Display Screen Equipment online training and risk assessment.

Members of staff can request an eye test through the Information Services Portal.

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: Member of Staff to Complete Online Eyesight Request via IS Self Service Portal

Members of staff can request an eyesight test via the Information Services Portal. There is a requirement to agree with the following declaration in order to submit a request:

‘Once authorised, the requester will be sent an email with an attached Specsavers eyetest voucher or Safety Spectacles form, and will then need to make arrangements with any Specsavers branch to have an eye test. It is University policy to issue an eyesight voucher every two years. If an employee needs an early eyesight test for health reasons or has any other special requirements regarding their vision, please request management referral to Occupational Health. The DSE risk assessment must be completed as part of new starter core training or every three years thereafter before applying for a test. Training should also be retaken when staff members move desk locations.’

Line managers will be contacted to authorise the request and by doing so confirm the member of staff is a DSE user as detailed above. The Health & Safety Office will then check if the online DSE training and risk assessment has been completed and whether the individual has had an eye test within 2 years. If they have, they will need to seek a management referral to Occupational Health.

For more information on how to access to the online Display Screen Equipment (DSE) training, please click here.

If there are any queries regarding this criteria or further information is required please contact the Health & Safety Office on 02392 843075 or via

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.

Additional Information

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

Further Information


Please contact the Health and Safety Office if you have any further questions on 02392 843075 or via