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Eyecare Vouchers for spectacles or contact lenses

Eyecare Voucher Information

Walters Opticians are authorized to accept Accor Eyecare vouchers, arguably the most popular and convenient way for employers to provide the mandatory eyecare, support and products for DSE users.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, which were amended in 2002, place a responsibility on employers to attend to the eyecare of VDU users.

While many employers find that the regulations are beneficial in helping them to address eye health at work, the take up of eye tests remains lower than originally anticipated.

This is in large part due to misunderstandings concerning the regulations by employers and employees.

So what does this really mean for employers, what do they need to know about complying and what options are available to help them meet their obligations

Background of the DSE regulations

In January 1993, six regulations on health and safety at work were introduced. Commonly referred to as the 'Six Pack', these regulations were introduced to implement the requirements of European Community Health and Safety Directives.

It is one of these regulations, specifically the Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992 (DSE Regulations) that requires employers to minimise the risks in VDU work by ensuring that workplaces and jobs are well designed.

The regulations apply where an employee habitually uses VDUs as a significant part of their normal work. It is normally agreed that 'habitual' means regularly using a terminal for periodsof over one hour – less if mistakes can have a critical effect.

The regulations are also designed to protect users who may work from home and agency 'temps', two areas often overlooked by employers.

While there are some potential areas of interpretation, particularly in the definition of a 'user', it would be safe to assume that anyone who considers themselves to be a VDU user probably is.

The importance of eye testing

According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), nine out of ten people fear losing their sight above any other sense but one in three still failed to have an eye test in the last two years.

The RNIB research found that that over half of sight loss in the UK is avoidable.

It also clearly shows that few people understand the importance of an eye test in identifying potentially blinding conditions, with most giving the reason for not having an eye test as "they didn’t have a problem with their eyes".

Steve Winyard of the RNIB explains that: "Ignorance is quietly robbing people of their sight every day. Unless action is taken now, thousands of people in the UK will this year needlessly lose their sight from conditions that could be treated if caught early."

If you have been issued with an Eyecare voucher and wish to arrange an eye examination, or would like to find out more about how the eyecare voucher system works call us or drop and we'll be glad to help.

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