§ Miss Joan Lestor
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if Her Majesty's Government will sponsor research into the effects on the health of workers operating visual display units and other types of office technology.
§ Mr. Waddington
The Health and Safety Executive—HSE—has recently reviewed the effects of visual display units—VDUs—which are often incorporated in other office equipment, on the health of operators. The results were published as an HSE research paper "Human factors aspects of visual display unit operation" in December 1980. Following the publication of this document the HSE has carried out extensive consultations on a draft guidance note which provides, first, information on the currently available evidence concerning the direct effects of VDU operation on health and, second, guidance on good practice concerning the introduction and use of VDUs in so far as their use has a bearing on the health, safety and welfare of those operating them. The HSE intends to publish the final version of this guidance in the autumn.
Additionally, the HSE is in touch with those groups in the United Kingdom and elsewhere who are carrying out 86W research into the health aspects of VDU operation. Where particular problems arise from the use of VDUs, investigations are carried out by the HSE's employment medical advisory service.