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DSE Responsibilities

Under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (as amended 2002), Assessments must be completed for employees (users) or self-employed people (operators) who use Display Screen Equipment for a significant part of their normal work. It depends on the type of Display Screen, but this usually means for an hour or more each work day.


Employers have to:

  • Review the Assessments when changes occur
  • Provide training and information
  • Provide eyesight tests
  • Provide glasses, if required for DSE work
  • Plan Display Screen Equipment work to include breaks



Employees can also reduce the risks by adopting safe work practices.


Download a DSE checklist here. This can also be used as part of your DSE assessment.



Evaluating Individual Needs

The Assessment also gives Sarah the opportunity to discuss the risks, together with any individual factors.


The Assessor will then request any required equipment or workstation alterations and send a copy of the Assessment to Human Resources (HR) and Health and Safety (H&S).


Here is a Video outlining the key points to consider.

Here is a more detailed guide for Working with display screen equipment

Sitting Posture


The position of the workstation furniture, Sarah’s posture and her viewing angle of the Display Screen would also be considered.


Which sitting posture would reduce Sarah’s health risks?



DSE Assessments


Sarah is a new member of staff. As a significant part of her job involves using a computer for an hour or more, she should have a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Assessment.


Her Assessment will include looking at the following:

  • Screen
  • Software
  • Lighting and Daylight
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse/Trackball
  • Work-chair
  • Workspace
  • Workstation Environment
  • Training and Info
  • Eye and Eyesight Testing


Due to the placement of the keyboard and mouse Sarah has to reach to use them.


Reducing the Risks

To help reduce the health risks of using Display Screen Equipment, DSE Assessments are carried out to identify the hazards and associated risks.


This helps to reduce their effects to the lowest practical level.

How and when do we assess?

The DSE Assessment has five steps, which are summarised on the right. It is carried out:

  • For new employees
  • When the employee believes they are at risk
  • When the employer believes the employee is at risk
  • There has been a significant change

Let’s try identifying some hazards and reducing the risks.



What is WRULD?

Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD) is a general term that covers a number of musculoskeletal conditions which affect the shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist or hand.


Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the fingers, wrists, arms or shoulders
  • Tenderness
  • Feeling of heaviness in the arms/wrists
  • Swelling
  • Tingling sensation at the fingertips
  • Numbness
  • Joint restriction

What is the Risk?

Health risks

If we use DSE Equipment incorrectly or too often it can cause health risks such as:

  • Work Related Upper Limb Disorder (WRULD)
  • General discomfort
  • Eyestrain and dry eyes
  • Stress

It is therefore important that we ensure our equipment and usage does not place us at risk of injury. Often, problems are due to a combination of factors such as workstation design and individual factors (e.g. poor posture, and sitting position).



Welcome to this short course on Display Screen Equipment.


In case you’re unsure, Display Screen Equipment (DSE) means any device or equipment that has a display screen, such as PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or equipment readout displays. They may also be called VDU’s (Visual Display Units).


What we’ll cover

This course focuses on laptops and desktop computers and will help you to understand:

  • The health risks of using display screen equipment
  • How you can reduce the risks and safe work practices


You’ll also put what you’ve learnt into practice by completing your own workstation assessment, whilst a short quiz will help you to check your understanding and pass the course – you will need 5/6 to pass.