The use of display screen equipment (DSE) is a device or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen. These are extensively used in the office environment. As part of any good safety management system it is necessary for risk assessments to be conducted on the use of display screen equipment, to ensure compliance with legislation and to reduce any risks which may arise from the use of DSE to the user.

Why is it so important?

It is widely accepted that the main risks associated with working with display screen equipment (DSE) are musculoskeletal upper limb disorders, for example back pain, and upper limb disorders, visual fatigue and stress. Generally, the risks to individual users are relatively low in the short term; however, they can become significant in the long term if best practice is not followed. Where best practice is followed, for example a correctly set up workstation and taking regular breaks, ULDs can be avoided.


The piece of legislation covering display screen equipment is the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002. These regulations came into force in 1993 with the intention to implement the European directive on the minimum requirements for work with display screen equipment.

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