The Health & Safety (Display Equipment) Regulations 1992 require organisations to ensure that visual display units, for example computer screens comply with health and safety rules.
These are the regulations that require you to take sufficient breaks when using IT.
Display screen equipment directive
The Regulations generally give effect as respects to the UK to the substantive provisions of Council Directive 90/270/EEC on the minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment (OJ No. L156, 21.6.90, p.14)
Employers are required to make a suitable and sufficient analysis of workstations that they provide, assess health & safety risks, and to reduce the risks.
From an IT perspective, this include visual display units, for example desk and lap top computers.
Supervision and Enforcement
The Health and safety regime is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive
Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 provides a general framework for dealing with health and safety in the work place.
Organisations should put in place policies which plan for, and safeguard, the health, safety, and welfare of everyone who works at, or visits, work premises and other places of work and who is likely to be affected by the organisation’s operations.
Health and Safety Guidance
- make them aware of potential hazards, safe working practices and the arrangements for emergencies such as fire, first aid, etc;
- protect them from risks at work through effective risk assessment and the implementation of appropriate preventive or protective measures;
- provide staff, and visitors where appropriate, with personal protective equipment, together with information and guidance in its use, whether required by regulation, code of practice or operational considerations;
- ensure that accommodation, equipment, facilities, materials, substances, transport, driving and working practices are safe and without undue $risk to health;
- help employees to meet their legal duty of care, by involving them, and encouraging their co-operation, in the management of their own health and safety, through appropriate information and training;
- consult staff on matters affecting their health, safety, and welfare at work, and nurture a spirit of collaboration among them, their Trades Unions, and the Safety Representatives they appoint.
- provide competent support to managers to improve and maintain continuously a consistently high standard of health and safety management in their areas of responsibility.