Latest update: 19/03/2021

Directive 90/270/EEC - display screen equipment

of 29 May 1990 on the minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment (fifth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16 (1) of Directive 89/391/EEC)


This Directive lays down minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment.


Definition of terms “display screen equipment”, “workstation” and “worker”.


Employers are obliged to perform an analysis of workstations in order to evaluate the safety and health conditions to which they give rise for their workers, particularly as regards possible risks to eyesight, physical problems and problems of mental stress. They shall take appropriate measures to remedy the risks found taking account of the additional and/or combined effects of the risks so found.

Employers must take the appropriate steps to ensure that workstations meet the minimum requirements laid down in the Annex of this Directive.

The employer must plan the worker's activities in such a way that daily work on a display screen is periodically interrupted by breaks or changes of activity reducing the workload at the display screen.

Workers shall receive information on all aspects of safety and health relating to their workstation. Workers or their representatives shall be informed of any health and safety measure taken in compliance with this Directive.

Every worker shall also receive training in use of the workstation before commencing this type of work and whenever the organization of the workstation is substantially modified.

Workers are entitled to an appropriate eye and eyesight test carried out by a person with the necessary capabilities before commencing display screen work, at regular intervals thereafter, and if they experience visual difficulties during work. Moreover, workers are entitled to an ophthalmological examination if the results of the test show that this is necessary.


The annex lays down the minimum requirements for workstations regarding

  • Equipment
  • Environment
  • Operator/Computer interface

Read the full text of the consolidated version of the Directive (including later amendments)

Read the full text of the original Directive (without amendments)

National laws implementing this Directive

Further information on this topic

See also further documents of the European Commission on that topic:

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions on the practical implementation of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Directives 89/391 (Framework), 89/654 (Workplaces), 89/655 (Work Equipment), 89/656 (Personal Protective Equipment), 90/269 (Manual Handling of Loads) and 90/270 (Display Screen Equipment)

Evaluation of the Practical Implementation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Directives in EU Member States - Directive on the minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment (2017)