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Health and Safety

Safe Use of Display Screen Equipment

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations introduced legislation to cover a new area of work. Incorrect use of display screen equipment can result in eyestrain, headaches, muscular strain injuries (neck, arms, hands and back) and general fatigue. These problems can be overcome by good ergonomic design of equipment, furniture, the working environment and the tasks performed.

The Regulations apply to display screens where there is a 'user'. A user is an employee who habitually uses display screen equipment as a significant part of their normal work activity. This means that they must be virtually dependent on the computer for their work, i.e. legal secretary, telesales operators, call centre staff. There are exceptions to the regulations such as systems mainly for public use, portable systems, cash registers and window typewriters.

As an employer, you have duties to:

  • Assess display screen equipment workstations and reduce risks which are discovered
  • Make sure that workstations satisfy minimum requirements which are set for the display screen itself, keyboard, desk and chair, working environment, task design and software
  • Plan display screen equipment work so that there are breaks or changes of activity, and
  • Provide information and training for display screen equipment users

Do I need to do an assessment?

Follow the flow chart to see if you need to assess any workstations.

Does the workstation contain DSE?

Down Arrow

Does 'user' use DSE for a significant part of the working day?
No Down Arrow Yes
No Assessment Needed An assessment of workstation needs to be done

A checklist for carry out an assessment can be found in Appendix 10 (0.07MB) Adobe Acrobat Format

An assessment can be done as part of a checklist, to be completed with the workstation user and should take into account the following factors:

See Illustration

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