4 Steps to Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment?

The safe use of DSE or Display Screen Equipment is a very hot Health and Safety topic and it will come as no surprise that every year an increased number of us use some sort of DSE in the workplace. Advances in technology, mechanics and communication now mean that DSE is no longer just office based but screens can be found on factory floors, in workshops, shop floors, warehouses, in fact in ANY workplace.

So how do you know if you are working safely with your Display Screen Equipment?

The HSE state that an employer must protect their workers from the health risks of working with display screen equipment including PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

The regulations apply to workers who use DSE daily, for an hour or more at a time, even as mobile workers, home workers or if they are hot-desking .

So what are the 4 main steps an employer must take?

1. Do a DSE workstation assessment.
This must look at

  • The whole workstation, including equipment, furniture, and work conditions
  • The job being done
  • Any special requirements of a member of staff, for example a user with a disability

Employers must also do an assessment when:

  • A new workstation is set up
  • A new user starts work
  • A change is made to an existing workstation or the way it’s used
  • Users complain of pain or discomfort

2. Reduce risks, including making sure workers take breaks from DSE work or do something different.

There is no legal guidance about how long and how often breaks should be for DSE work. It depends on the kind of work you are doing. Take short breaks often, rather than longer ones less often.

3. Provide an eye test if a worker asks for one the employer must also pay for the test.

This should be a full eye and eyesight test by an optometrist or doctor, including a vision test and an eye examination.

4. Provide training and information for workers.

For more information regarding training and information for DSE, contact Prosafe (UK) Ltd Health and Safety Consultants.


It’s true that incorrect use of DSE and poorly designed workstations can lead to pain in necks, shoulders, backs, arms, wrists and hands as well as fatigue and eye strain, but the risk of this effecting employees can be greatly reduced by following our 4 simple steps.

For more information or guidance on workplace health and safety call our experienced consultants on 01724 712342 or email info@prosafeuk.co.uk

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