Display screen equipment risk assessment

The Display screen equipment (DSE) risk assessment is divided into seven regulations; the aim is to improve working conditions at the workstation, by providing ergonomic support. All users should also be able to have regular eyesight tests and be informed of the hazards risks and control measures in place regarding their working areas.

  • Regulation 1 defines what equipment is covered by DSE, and the definition of a user.
  • Regulation 2 requires a DSE assessment to be carried out by all employees and reviewed by a DSE assessor. New employees are required to complete this assessment during their probation.
  • Regulation 3 ensures that minimum requirements are met regarding all the equipment as well as noise, heat, radiation, humidity and computer user interface.
  • Regulation 4 Gives guidance regarding regular short breaks and the general guidance concerning these.
  • Regulation 5 Explains the provision for eye testing, with both the test and corrective glasses, if required being paid for by the employer.
  • Regulation 6 Ensures that adequate health and safety training is provided by the employer, and training for software is provided.
  • Regulation 7 is to inform the employee about on-going risk assessments and control measures concerning health and safety. 

HSE provide a free downloadable leaflet, working with display screen equipment as a guide for people who work with visual display units (VDUs), and their employers. VDU is a previous description of DSE and, in the context of the leaflet, the two are the same. 

Top 10 tips for a comfortable workstation

  • Move the chair close to the workstation.
  • Sit upright, supported by the chair’s back support.
  • Incline the seat 5-10 degrees downwards.
  • Sit with the feet flat on the floor, or supported by a footstool.
  • Sit directly in front of the computer screen and keyboard to avoid neck twisting.
  • Position screens at eye level (laptops should be raised and use a separate keyboard) and look into the far distance every few minutes to vary focal length and avoid eye strain.
  • Check the direction of the light source to avoid glare or reflections on the screen.  Place the screen at right angles to the window where possible.
  • Relax shoulders, periodically check they do not become tense, rise up or hunch.
  • Let upper arms hang down naturally from shoulders – there should be a right angle at your elbow when typing.
  • Never use keyboard or mouse rests for permanently resting your wrists on while you are working.