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Display screen equipment

Guidance to employers and employees on the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations 1992

​This page gives guidance to employers and employees on the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations 1992 and how to protect workers from the health risks associated with display screen equipment.

  1. Display screen equipment (DSE) health risks
  2. Reduce display screen equipment (DSE) risks
  3. Display screen equipment (DSE) legislation

2. Reduce display screen equipment (DSE) risks

Carry out a DSE risk assessment to identify potential problems for users of DSE. The assessment should consider the display screens, keyboards, work desks and chairs and environmental factors such as space, lighting, heat, noise and humidity.

DSE risk assement also applies to the interface between software and the user. The process should apply to fixed workstations, mobile workers and home workers or other flexible workers.

Hot-desking workers should carry out a basic risk assessment if they change desks.

Before carrying out a DSE risk assessment you should understand more about repeatitive strain injury and display screen equipment choice.

Repeatitive strain injury (RSI)

RSI prevention is always better than cure. The chances of continued good health are greatest when steps are taken to minimise the risk of injuries developing. The employer should consider the risks when setting up or designing workstations and train workers (including home workers) in good working practice and posture.

Workers with disabilities or pre-existing conditions may have special requirements. Consideration should be given to ensure that the task and workstation are suitable for each worker.

Today's society uses technology outside working hours. A combination of repetitive movements, poor posture, and over use of computers, games consoles and mobile phones (often without the regulated breaks taken in a workplace) can also contribute to repetitive injuries.

It is important to apply good practice at work and at home. Workers must be trained to be aware of good practice in

  • posture
  • the use of the correct equipment
  • sensible short breaks in activity
  • exercise.

Some people with symptoms of RSI find that including exercise in their daily routine eases their symptoms. See the Health and Safety Executive’s DSE training page (external website) for more information.

Choosing DSE

It is important to choose the correct equipment for the task. For example, if laptops are to be used in the office or for long periods elsewhere (e.g. at home) then docking stations, separate keyboards and a mouse should be provided.

There is a wide variety of I.T. accessories and equipment to select from. Get the right advice to ensure your workstations have the right ergonomic design to help maintain good working posture. Contact your equipment supplier or an expert from the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (external link) for advice.

To find out more about how to carry out a DSE risk assessment, we have prepared a checklist that can help you to complete a DSE assessment for your workstations.

Use our DSE work station assessment form

Employees with suspected RSI

Workers with a suspected repetitive strain injury should be considered for a referral to Working Health Services Scotland or an Occupational Health Service. These services will give specific advice and support to reduce risk and help the worker to remain at work.  For more information read our supporting staff attendance pages.

Message us or call our advice line on 0800 019 2211 if you need further information about working with display screen equipment (DSE).