Deloitte: Poland enters the phase of economic expansion

The divergence of economic moods in Poland...

Two Years On: War in Ukraine and Its Global Impact

On February 24, 2022, a full-scale Russian...

Employers Have Half a Year to Adapt to New Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

LAWEmployers Have Half a Year to Adapt to New Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

The guidelines for safety and hygiene at workstations equipped with screen monitors, in force for the last twenty-five years, have finally received an update. Employers have six months to adapt to the changes.

The regulations which were governed by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy’s decree from December 1, 1998, have finally been adjusted to technological changes and medical advancements. The update came into effect on November 17, 2023, meaning it applies to newly established job positions. Employers have six months to adapt existing workplaces to the minimum requirements of safety, hygiene, and ergonomics set out in the new regulation. Experts from TU Health explain the most important changes include:

  • Consideration of an employee’s contact lenses, which can be a substitute for corrective glasses for working at a screen;
  • An employer’s obligation to equip workstations with a stationary screen monitor or stand, as well as an additional keyboard and mouse. This applies when the employee uses a portable computer (like a laptop) for at least half of their workday;
  • A relaxation of detailed requirements related to ergonomics and equipment of the workplace.

Contact Lenses Are Now An Employer’s Responsibility

Up until recently, employers were only required to provide employees with corrective eyeglasses, in line with the doctor’s opinion (who carried out preventive medical check-ups), who recommended their use while working at the screen. As TU Health experts point out, a literal interpretation of the regulations excluded employees who were unable to wear regular glasses as determined by their preventive check-ups.

“In practice, however, employers complied with requests for the reimbursement of contact lenses for workers meeting the conditions set out in the regulation, referring to Art. 9 sec. 3 of the Council Directive of May 29, 1990, on minimum requirements for safety and health protection in work with a computer monitor”, observes Hanna Zasłona, senior occupational medicine specialist at TU Health, “This solution was accepted by institutions such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Ministry of Finance.”

In the new regulation, corrective contact lenses are an employer’s obligation, as indicated by this provision.

How to Equip a Workplace?

The amendment to the regulation brings new guidelines for organizing a workstation. The Annex to this regulation includes the technical description of a workspace that considers aspects such as the setup of the monitor, table, chair, lighting, and the general space occupied by the employee.

“In case of using portable computers on a given position for at least half of the workday, the worker’s workstation must be equipped with a stationary monitor or a stand ensuring the screen position so that its top edge is at the eye level of the worker, and an additional keyboard and mouse. This also means that if an employee works remotely, the employer should provide them with a second monitor or a laptop stand.” explains Hanna Zasłona.

Check out our other content
Related Articles
The Latest Articles