The health and safety regulations quite precisely define what requirements concerning health and safety at work should be met by the employer.

When considering the risks in the workplace of administrative and office workers, it should be noted that they are at risk of deteriorating their health due to their work at the computer. Many hours of work at a computer monitor weakens the eyesight, which can also adversely affect the functioning of the employee – headaches, pain in the cervical spine and others.

According to the Ordinance of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy from 1 December 1998 on occupational safety and health at work stations equipped with screen monitors, the provisions in this respect apply to every employee who uses a screen monitor at least for half of the daily working time.

The employer is obliged to provide the employee with a 5-minute break after each hour of uninterrupted work at the computer in a situation where the employee cannot perform other work during this time that does not burden his eyesight. Such a break is included in the employee’s working time. An employer who employs employees to work in positions equipped with screen monitors is obliged to provide them, if necessary, with glasses correcting their eyesight. The employer reimburses the costs of purchasing glasses, but covers them only on the basis of a certificate from an occupational medicine doctor – it is not the employee’s will that is important here, but a medical certificate. In the Regulations, the employer sets the amount for co-financing corrective glasses.

The legislator introduced a rule on corrective glasses due to the importance of the health of each employee.

by Urszula Milewska – Marzyńska