DSE Self Assessment and Eye Tests

Display screen equipment (DSE), previously known as visual display units (VDUs), covers cathode ray screens and liquid crystal displays, plasma screens and is inclusive of the use of laptops. Inappropriate use of DSE can cause upper limb disorders, such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also make you more aware of existing eyesight related problems or increase stress related problems.

DSE Self Assessment

Individuals can use the University’s DSE Self-Assessment program to report ongoing problems or identify ways to change their use of DSE in order to reduce the risk of problems developing.

DSE Eye Tests

Employees who use display screen equipment for a significant part of their work are referred to as DSE Users. DSE Users may ask their department for an eyesight test in relation to this work. The department is expected to meet the cost of the test and reasonable costs (up to £75) of any corrective spectacles recommended by the optometrist for DSE use.

If you are a DSE User, as defined in section 3 of the DSE policy statement, you would normally be asked to attend one of the five nominated opticians in Oxford.  The University recognises that for many members of staff it is currently impossible to come into Oxford to visit a nominated optician.  In the current circumstances, you may go to a local optician for a DSE related eyesight test, provided you clear this request with your line manager first.

The cost of the eye test should be the basic provision relevant to your DSE use.  The University will cover the cost of an eye test up to those outlined in Appendix 4 of the policy statement (e.g. up to £25).  The University will also cover the cost of a basic pair of corrective glasses (e.g. up to £75) required specifically for your work with DSE, provided this is specified on the optician's report, which should be passed to the department before the final contribution is agreed.

It should be assumed that the optician’s DSE eyesight test incorporates a check on the intermediate/DSE distance and if the optician felt that corrective glasses are required, they should provide a report/copy of the prescription indicating these are required specifically for DSE use or not.  If the spectacles are not specifically for DSE use, then their cost cannot be reclaimed.

If you require further clarification, please email enquiries@safety.ox.ac.uk in the first instance.

Please note, University Central Payments are aware of this arrangement.