DSE refers to Display Screen Equipment such as PC’s, laptops, tablets, TV screens and even smartphones. The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) class anyone who uses at least one of these for an hour or more at a time as a DSE user. A user can be an employee or a self-employed person that uses screens regularly in their day to day work. Therefore infrequent or short term use doesn’t make you a DSE user.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 are in place to protect DSE users from the health risks associated with DSE, such as RSI, headaches, eyestrain and back problems. Employers have certain obligations surrounding DSE users so it is important to be aware if you are classed as a DSE user. Even if you are not situated in your company’s main office you are still a DSE user. Likewise, it is important for employers to realise their responsibilities towards DSE users.
The HSE state that the law applies if users are, for example:
- at a fixed workstation
- mobile workers
- home workers
- hot-desking (workers should carry out a basic risk assessment if they change desks regularly)
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations apply to workers who use DSE daily, for an hour or more at a time. We describe these workers as ‘DSE users’.
DSE and Employer Responsibilities
Employers must comply with The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. If you use equipment with a display screen for a significant part of your day you can expect your employer to:
- Complete a work station assessment.
- Reduce the health risks associated with DSE use, such as providing the opportunity for regular breaks to avoid eye strain.
- Pay for eye tests when requested.
- Provide training and information, such as how to set up your workstation correctly. DSE training is a legal requirement for all DSE users.
Are there any exemptions?
There are some cases where the DSE regulations don’t apply. These are:
- In driver’s cabs or control cabs for vehicles or machinery
- Any display screen equipment on board some form of transport
- Any display screen equipment mainly intended for public use, like an electronic information display in a shopping centre, for example
- Any portable display systems which aren’t used for prolonged periods of time
- Calculators, cash registers, or any other equipment with a small data or measurement screen, or
- Typewriters of a traditional design, known as “window typewriters”
Online DSE Training
Here at iHASCO our IOSH approved online DSE training course provides all the information you need to know, from setting up your workstation correctly to ensuring your work environment reduces the health risks associated with using display screens. This 25 minute course will empower all DSE users to minimise the health risks associated with using screens while at work.