Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Checklist

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees in the workplace under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This includes a duty of care to those employees working with display screen equipment, as DSE users deal with specific health and safety risks. As an employer, you must...

Read Time: 6 Minutes

David Tuckwell
By: David Tuckwell
June 27, 2024

Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees in the workplace under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This includes a duty of care to those employees working with display screen equipment, as DSE users deal with specific health and safety risks.

As an employer, you must be compliant with DSE regulations. This article will help guide you through health and safety risks surrounding the use of display screen equipment so you can ensure compliance. Be sure to download our free information pack that includes our DSE checklist as well as a self-assessment form for your employees to fill out.

As always Employer, Advice is on hand to offer your business, instant, expert advice on all matters relating to health and safety. Call us today on 0800 470 3529.

What is display screen equipment?

Display screen equipment (DSE) is categorised as a device or equipment that utilises an alphanumeric or graphic display screen. This includes display screens, laptops, touch screens and other similar devices.

DSE workstations

What is the importance of a DSE risk assessment?

DSE risk assessments are an important step in protecting workers health and well-being, they are also a legal requirement as they fall under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Display screen equipment carries with it a unique set of potential health risks and safety issues, especially to those who use it for extended periods.

Ensuring that you assess the risks and take measures to protect the health of employees using display screen equipment, can go a long way to reducing absences relating to injuries caused by the long-term use of DSE such as bad backs, wrists and necks.

What are the health risks of using display screen equipment?

DSE users deal with a specific set of health and safety risks, that can often go overlooked due to the sedentary nature of DSE work and office environments. However, employees who sit at screens for long periods, especially those at poorly designed workstations, which encourage poor posture can end up suffering with a myriad of health issues. Not to mention the detrimental effect that blue light has on eyes if exposed over continuous periods.

Repetitive strain injury from prolonged dse use.

Injuries that can result from the prolonged usage of DSE, include but are not limited to:

  • Back pain.
  • Eye strain.
  • Repetitive strain injury (RSI).
  • Work-related upper limb disorders (WRULD.)

What are the Display Screen Equipment regulations regarding users?

As an employer you hold a legal duty to ensure that employees are aware of the risks of display screens and to maintain a healthy working environment. The Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992 came into effect to address the issues relating to the daily use of DSE, in the form of The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.

The regulations apply to all employees who use DSE equipment continuously for an hour or more at a time and fit one of the following criteria:

  • At a fixed workstation.
  • Mobile workers.
  • Hybrid workers
  • Home workers.
  • Hot-desking

Employer requirements regarding DSE?

Regulations on DSE outline the minimum requirements that employers must follow to be in compliance with the basic level of care for employees. This includes:

  • Conducting DSE risk assessments to eliminate poorly designed workstations.
  • Identifying and training display screen equipment users (this includes those with disabilities and those who use the equipment infrequently).
  • Providing adequate regular screen breaks wherever possible to reduce risk.
  • Providing eye tests to display screen equipment users, when requested, to help avoid eye strain.
  • Regularly reviewing risk assessments, when workspace changes are implemented.

Are display screen equipment (DSE) assessments a legal requirement? 

In short. Yes! As an employer you should be performing a risk assessment for all employees who fall under the requirement for the regulation.

Health and safety law applies to DSE.

Part of this basic risk assessment should identify the potential risks but also offers solutions to eliminate or reduce these. It must also include an analysis of the workstation, equipment, interface and the operator.

Conducting a DSE risk assessment as an Employer

health and safety assessment checklist being filled in

Begin the DSE assessment process like you would approach any other risk assessment. Start by identifying the potential risks then address them. This could include solutions like providing ergonomic chairs and screen raisers as well as providing provisions for eye tests to reduce visual fatigue.

With DSE risk assessments, take into account the entire workstation as well as the individual equipment. This includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Chair
  • Desk

Once the risks have been identified, order them in terms of severity and try to offer solutions to each hazard. Include your employees in the assessment process, this ensures that they have an understanding of the process and simultaneously ensure that the DSE works for their needs.

Should employers have a DSE policy?

Implementing an internal display screen equipment policy is an efficient way to ensure a safe and legally compliant workspace and reduce risks. Formulating a DSE policy formalises your responsibilities as an employer as well as outlining your staff’s role in the process.

health and safety policy being signed

The Policy should include details like equipment training, pest practice as well as informing employees on the risks of prolonged and incorrect use of display screen equipment.

Download Employer Advice’s DSE Checklist

Ensuring an effective health and safety policy in the workplace can be time consuming and costly if not implemented correctly. Our dedicated team of experts have put in the hard yards and compiled a guide to DSE in the workplace, including a DSE workstation assessment checklist, set-up guide and all the information you need as an employer on DSE health and safety.

Employer Advice work exclusively with employers and has a team of dedicated employment law experts. Offering over 80 years of industry experience we help employers take the stress of handling their employment law obligations. Call the Employer Advice experts today on 0800 470 3529

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David Tuckwell
David is a new addition to the Employer Advice team. He's responsible for creating content for the site and social channels.

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