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COVER STORY


KEEP AN EYE OUT


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The Display Screen Equipment (DSE) timebomb: hindsight or foresight?


May 2011 marked 21 years since the introduction of Europe-wide legislation to protect employees working at computer monitors; during which time it has been almost universally ineffective. This is about to change significantly; several legal rulings this year condemned companies for negligence in not


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addressing health risks to employees that could reasonably have been anticipated. With more than 50% of DSE users reporting one or more symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), the time has come for employers to start taking this legislation very seriously.


DSE - PROVEN HEALTH RISKS In 2007, a full 17 years after the first legislation was introduced, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) commissioned Research Report 561 to be carried out by the Institute of Occupational Medicine to consider how effective the UK’s own, strengthened


directive, introduced in 1993, had been. This project sought information about the extent of ill health in DSE workers through a survey of employees. The survey found a high prevalence in DSE users of self reported symptoms including eye discomfort (58%), headaches (52%), neck pain (47%), shoulder


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