Working Safely With Display Screen Equipment

 

If your employees work with display screen equipment on a daily basis for more than an hour at a time, you are responsible for protecting them from associated risks to their health. Display screen equipment (DSE) includes items such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

There are a number of different scenarios in which the laws regulating the use of display screen equipment might apply to your workers.  They may be sat or standing at a fixed workstation, they could be using mobile DSE devices through the day, working from home or even hot-desking.

If a workstation is badly designed or not used correctly by workers, they may develop symptoms such as back, neck or shoulder pain, pain in wrists or hands, fatigue, or eye strain.

 

It is your responsibility as an employer to:

• Make an assessment of your employee’s DSE workstation to make sure it is suitable

• Take action to reduce the risks from DSE use, such as encouraging frequent breaks or switching to another task

• Provide employees with an eye test if requested

• Ensure employees receive appropriate training and information.

 

There are several areas where you can advise your employees to help prevent health problems from developing. These include:

• Chair positioning and posture

• Finding the right height and angle for display screens

• Use of mouse and keyboard to avoid strain

• Screen brightness, contrast, text size and avoiding glare

• The importance of rest breaks

• Safe use of DSE when mobile

This leaflet from the HSE (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg36.htm) gives more information about working safely with display screens and how to comply with the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. It explains what you as an employer may need to do to mitigate the risks to your employees from working with display screen equipment.

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