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Health & Safety Consultancy, Information & Management

What is (DSE) Display Screen Equipment?

Today most of us use Display Screen Equipment (DSE) at work and at home. The Health and Safety Executive defines DSE as any work equipment having a screen that displays information.


Typical examples are computer screens often called monitors or VDUs.

Display screen assessment

What are the risks associated  with using  computers?

Health problems associated with VDU work can include:


• Musculoskeletal disorders of the arm, hand, shoulder and neck

• Work-related upper limb disorders (WRULDs) including pains in the neck, arms, elbows, wrists, hands, fingers often known as repetitive strain injury or ‘RSI’;

• Soft tissue disorders such as peritendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

• Back ache

• Fatigue and stress

• Temporary eye strain (but not eye damage) and headaches.

What do the regulations say employers must do?

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 2002 require employers to minimise the risks in VDU work by ensuring that workplaces and jobs are well designed.


Regulation 2 says a suitable assessment of the workstation must be carried out in order to reduce VDU risks to lowest "reasonably practicable" levels. Areas that may need to be assessed include:


• The whole workstation including equipment, furniture, and the work environment;

• The job being done

• Any special needs of individual staff

DSE Assessment

When carrying out an DSE assessment there a whole range of items to consider such as:


• Is the horizontal eyeline roughly level to the top of the screen?

• Is the screen tilted to the correct angle to help reduce head movement?

• What sort of breaks are required?


The chair has minimum requirements too

Is there any thing else employers are expected to do?

Briefly, the Regulations also require employers to:


• Ensure that workstations meet specified minimum requirements

• Plan work activities so that they include breaks or changes of activity

• Provide eye and eyesight tests on request, and special spectacles if needed

• Provide information and training






Those using a VDU more or less continuously on most days will be covered by the Regulations. So, usually, are others who:


• Normally use a VDU for continuous or near-continuous spells of an hour or more at a time

• Use it in this way more or less daily

• Have to transfer information quickly to or from the display screen equipment


...... and also need to apply high levels of attention and concentration; or are highly dependent on VDUs to do the job or have little choice about using them; or need special training or skills to use the equipment.

Who is covered by the Display Screen Equipment Regulations? has vast range of experience and expertise in carrying out DSE Assessments using  bespoke documentation that will help meet the DSE regulations for you and your staff


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