From computer monitors to smartphones and tablets, we are constantly interacting with display screen equipment (DSE). While these devices have undoubtedly made our lives easier and more efficient, there are also potential risks associated with prolonged screen use. That’s where display screen equipment regulations come into play.

Overview of The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992

The health and safety display screen equipment regulations 1992 were introduced to ensure the safety and well-being of employees who use DSE for an extended period of time. These regulations apply to any organisation that provides employees with DSE as part of their work duties.

The main risks that may arise in work with DSE are musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain or upper limb disorders (sometimes known as repetitive strain injury or RSI), visual fatigue, and mental stress. The objective of these regulations is to prevent or minimise these risks.

Understanding the scope of the display screen equipment regulations

Display screen equipment regulations cover a wide range of devices, including computer screens, laptops, tablets, smartphones. It is essential for employers to recognise the broad scope of these regulations and ensure that all DSE used by their employees complies with the legislation. This includes providing adjustable screens, chairs, and keyboards, as well as offering regular breaks and opportunities to change posture.

The protection afforded by regulations extends to anyone who habitually uses DSE for the purposes of work as a significant part of their normal working day. This typically includes most office-based workers and those working in roles such as a librarian, graphic designer, trader, call centre worker, computer operator or CCTV camera operative.

Compliance and enforcement of display screen equipment regulations

Compliance with display screen equipment regulations is a legal requirement. Employers must ensure that their DSE policies and practices align with legislation to avoid potential penalties or legal consequences.

Regular inspections and audits will identify any non-compliance issues and address them promptly.

Key requirements of the display screen equipment legislation

To comply with display screen equipment legislation, employers must meet several key requirements. Firstly, they must conduct a DSE workstation assessment to identify and address any potential risks. This assessment should consider factors such as the position of the screen, lighting conditions, and the design of the workstation.

Employers must also provide adequate training and information to employees on how to set up and use their workstation correctly.

Assessing and managing the risks associated with display screen equipment

Assessing and managing the risks associated with DSE is not only a legal requirement, it is crucial for maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. This includes providing employees with regular breaks, encouraging them to vary their tasks, and promoting good posture.

It is also important to consider individual needs and provide appropriate adjustments, such as ergonomic chairs or screen risers.

Employers should regularly review and update their DSE policies to reflect any changes such as if , if hot desking or hybrid working. is introduced.

Ergonomics and design considerations for display screen equipment

Ergonomics plays a significant role in ensuring the comfort and well-being of employees who use DSE.

Employers should consider the design of the workstation, including the positioning of the screen, keyboard, and mouse. It is important to provide adjustable equipment that can be tailored to individual needs. Ergonomic chairs, footrests, and wrist supports can also help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Additionally, employers should promote good lighting conditions and encourage employees to take regular breaks to rest their eyes.

Implementing an effective DSE policy

Implementing an effective DSE policy is crucial for ensuring compliance with display screen equipment regulations.

Employers should establish clear guidelines on how DSE should be used, including recommendations for screen positioning, lighting, and workstation design.

Regular training sessions should be conducted to educate employees on the importance of correct posture and the potential risks associated with prolonged screen use.

Employers should also encourage an open dialogue with employees, allowing them to voice any concerns or discomfort they may experience while using DSE.

Training for employees on DSE regulations

Employers must provide training for employees about the risk of using DSE.

Training should include:

  • Ergonomics: Training should cover the principles of ergonomics as they relate to DSE use. For instance how to maintain proper body alignment to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Workstation Setup: Employees should learn how to set up their workstations correctly to promote comfort and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as back pain, neck strain, and RSI , and adjusting equipment to minimise strain and discomfort.
  • Regular Breaks: Training should emphasise the importance of taking regular breaks from DSE work to rest the eyes, stretch, and move around to prevent fatigue and discomfort.
  • Eye Care: Employees should be educated about adjusting monitor settings, maintaining adequate lighting, and practicing the 20-20-20 rule (taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes and looking at something 20 feet away).
  • They should also be told how they can apply for an eye test.
  • Risk Assessment: Employees should understand how to conduct a basic risk assessment of their workstation to identify potential hazards and make necessary adjustments to minimise risks.
  • Reporting Issues: Training should encourage employees to report any discomfort, pain, or issues related to DSE use promptly so that appropriate measures can be taken to address them.
  • Employers should also ensure employees are informed about their rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety at work.

The benefits of adhering to the Display Screen Equipment Regulations

Adhering to display screen equipment regulations offers numerous benefits for both employers and employees.

By implementing proper ergonomic practices and providing a safe working environment, employers can reduce the risk of work-related injuries and improve productivity. Employees, on the other hand, can enjoy enhanced comfort, reduced fatigue, and improved overall well-being.


In conclusion, understanding and adhering to display screen equipment regulations is crucial for maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. By implementing proper ergonomic practices, providing adequate training, and regularly assessing and managing the risks associated with DSE, employers can protect the well-being of their employees. Compliance with display screen equipment regulations not only ensures legal requirements are met but also offers numerous benefits, including increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

Learn more on our courses:

DSE Awareness for Managers Course
DSE Assessor Training Course

Published On: March 7th, 2024