Working with computers – changes in health and safety regulations

On November 17, 2023, the regulation on Health and Safety at work positions equipped with screen monitors entered into force. Therefore, we are facing changes in H&S regarding work with computers.

A significant change concerns the definition of a job position. According to the new regulation, it is a work space with: 

  • basic equipment, including a screen monitor, keyboard, mouse or other input devices, software with a user interface,
  • chair and table,
  • optional additional equipment, including a disk drive, printer, scanner, document holder and footrest.

The amendment to the regulations also changes health and safety rules for portable computers, i.e. laptops and notebooks. If an employee uses them for at least half of the daily working time, the employer should ensure at the workplace: 

  • additional keyboard and mouse, 
  • a stationary screen monitor or a stand that allows the screen to be positioned so that its upper edge is at the employee’s eye level.

Refund of contact lenses

The regulation also added a provision on the refund of contact lenses. Until now, the employer was obliged to provide employees with vision-correcting glasses if the employee’s medical exams results showed the need to use them while working with a screen monitor. After the changes, an employee will be able to obtain funding for the purchase of not only glasses, but also contact lenses. The amount of subsidy is still to be determined by employers in internal regulations.

How much time do employers have to adapt to changes in H&S regarding computer work?

Employers have six months to adapt work places equipped with computers to the occupational health and safety requirements specified in the annex to the regulation of October 18, 2023. The listed conditions include:

  1. The equipment of the work place and the arrangement of its elements must not cause excessive strain on the musculoskeletal system and eyesight.
  2. The monitor should be able to adjust tilt, brightness and contrast. The top edge should be at eye level.
  3. The keyboard and mouse should be separate elements of the basic workstation equipment. The keyboard should be matte, its characters should be legible and contrasting, and its design should allow for a position that does not cause fatigue of the upper limb muscles during work.
  4. The surface of the table top should be matte, and the table structure should enable ergonomic arrangement of the works place equipment, providing an appropriate surface for work and maintaining the possibility of placing the elements at an appropriate distance.
  5. The chair at the workstation should be able to adjust the backrest, seat and armrest height, and be able to rotate 360 degrees. It should also have a five-support base with wheels.
  6. If it is necessary to use documents at work, at the employee’s request, the work place should be equipped with a document holder with adjustable height, inclination and distance from the employee.
  7. The work place should provide the employee with sufficient work space, in which all manually operated elements are within the reach of the upper limbs, and provide adequate space to place the legs under the table top.
  8. Lighting should ensure visual comfort, i.e. it should be adapted to the type of work performed and limit the possibility of direct glare.
  9. At the employee’s request, the workstation should be equipped with a footrest.
  10. The workstation should be located in the room in such a way that the employee has easy access to it.

The deadline for adapting existing job positions to the changes is May 17, 2024. 

If you have additional questions about health and safety and changes to the rules for working with computers, please contact us. Our experts will be happy to provide detailed explanations.

Junior Team Manager in the Human Resources and Payroll Services Department.

Feel free to contact us

Team Manager in the Human Resources and Payroll Services Department.

You may be interested in

No related articles