The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

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The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 makes employers look after the health and safety of employees and of the public.

The act provides guidance to employers and employees when working with computer systems.  It also defines actions that an employer should take to protect employees who work with computers in their job. 

Almost everyone – not just all employees and employers – has a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to work and behave safely. The act also makes it illegal to act recklessly or intentionally to act in such a way as to endanger yourself or others.

Employees must take reasonable care for their own and others’ safety and must cooperate with their employers in doing so. 

Display Screen Equipment Regulations

The main law covering the use of computer equipment is the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations. These regulations that employers must do five main tasks to ensure the safety of their employees ...

  • Analyse workstations and assess and reduce risks Employers need to check that the computer equipment and area around it is safe
  • Ensure all workstations meet the minimum requirements Employers need to make sure that adjustable chairs and suitable lighting are provided for employees, monitors can tilt and swivel, there is sufficient space for keyboards, monitor and any paperwork. 
  • Plan work so that there are breaks or changes of activity.  Regular breaks should be provided or change in the activity that the employees are carrying out. 
  • Arrange and pay for eye tests and glasses (if special ones are needed).  Employees of a business, who are covered by these regulations, can ask that eye tests are arranged and paid for. The business will only have to pay for glasses if special ones are needed. 
  • Provide health and safety training and information Employers must provide training to make sure that employees can use their computer equipment correctly. Employers should also provide information to their employees about health and safety when using screen equipment and how to minimise risks.


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Last modified: Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 12:22 PM