Let our experience be your guide 


Let our experience be your guide 


Let our experience be your guide 


Let our experience be your guide 


Let our experience be your guide 


Let our experience be your guide 


Let our experience be your guide 

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New OSH rules one year after remote work was introduced into the polish Labor Code

After more than 20 years, we lived to see changes in the minimum requirements for occupational safety and health and ergonomics of workstations equipped with screen monitors. We are talking about the pol. Decree of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of December 1, 1998 on occupational safety and health at workplaces equipped with screen monitors, as amended by the pol. Decree of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of October 18, 2023 (hereinafter: the decree).

It is not surprising that the legislature decided to take this step. After all, work at screen monitors is becoming more and more common, and the regulations on remote work introduced last year only reinforced the need for regulations normalizing OSH rules at workstations equipped with computers, thus allowing – at least to a small extent – to eliminate the risks associated with sedentary work.

Workstation – what do employers need to keep in mind?

The new definition of a workstation equipped with screen monitors implies several basic elements that an employer must keep in mind when hiring office workers.

As of May 17, 2024, the workstation of a computer-assisted employee must consist of at least:

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

Keep in mind, however, that the provisions of the regulation apply only to employees who use a screen monitor at work for at least half of the daily working hours.

Obligation to provide contact lenses

The new provisions introduce an obligation to provide employees not only with corrective glasses, but also, alternatively, with contact lenses, as recommended by a doctor, if the results of an ophthalmological examination conducted as part of preventive health care show the need for their use while working with a screen monitor.

In practice, it is understood that the choice of vision correction method will depend on the recommendation of the doctor.

Stationary screen monitor or stand

Workstations equipped with so-called portable systems (a.o. laptops), intended for use for at least half of an employee’s daily working hours, should from now on be additionally equipped with:

  • desktop screen monitor or
  • a stand to ensure that the screen is positioned so that its top edge is at the worker’s eye level,
  • additional keyboard and mouse.

The amendments to the decree include additional requirements that the screen monitor should meet, including requirements for its positioning.

Keyboard, table, work surface and chair requirements

The new wording of the regulation removes some of the keyboard requirements, introducing the principle that:

  • the design of the keyboard should allow the user to adopt a position that would not cause upper limb muscle fatigue during work,
  • the surface of the keyboard should be matte, and the characters on the keyboard should be contrasting and legible.

The rules relating to the table, work surface and chair have also been simplified. The new annex to the decree stipulates that the table structure and work surface should allow ergonomic positioning of workstation equipment elements, including varying the height of positioning screen monitor and keyboard, further adjusting the minimum distances within this range.

Interestingly, the legislator dropped the specification of the color of the table top, which until now had to be bright. Currently, the decree only stipulates that the surface of the table top should be matte.

However, the regulations on the chair remained unchanged – the revised annex to the decree still indicates a number of minimum requirements that an employee’s chair should meet.

Footrest and document holder at employee’s request

The provisions of the amending decree stipulate that the workstation must be equipped with a footrest and a document holder at the employee’s request.

However, the new requirements do not provide for adjustment of the footrest, including in terms of its height.

Simplification of existing requirements?

The new regulations no longer refer to many of the other parameters previously in effect, including, among others, the distance between screen monitors, work quality control or indoor humidity.

Need to update documentation of remote work

The new provisions of the decree, while judged positively, bring with them the need to update documentation on remote work.

This is because the rules apply to both stationary and remote employees.

The information on health and safety rules during remote work, which is one of the indispensable documents that make up the package of regulations introducing remote work in an organization, has become partially obsolete since May 17 this year, forcing employers to take appropriate steps.


The changes, effective as of May 17 of this year, include, on the one hand, a response to the need to regulate the legal and technical solutions used in office work, and on the other hand, leave employers with much greater flexibility in equipping workstations.

The abandonment of the requirements previously in force and the introduction of partially new, one might say – simplified rules, seems a good direction of change. Considering the remote work that has been in force for a year and the need for a practical, realistic approach of employers and employees to equip their own workplaces, it seems much easier against the background of the current regulation.

Importantly, the change in the regulation requires that in-house documentation be changed and adjusted – particularly in the area of remote work – to comply with the new regulations. Our team will be happy to assist you in this task.

Paula Staszak-Urbańska, LL.M., Trainee attorney-at-law (PL)

+49 30 88 03 59 0
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