Display Screen at Work Regulations

By Fiona Burns
01 Oct 2021

As a business owner, you’re responsible for ensuring the health & safety of your employees under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA 1974.).

In this article, we explore your duty to comply with regulations regarding Display Screen Equipment (DSE).

If you need specific support for DSE users or any workplace health and safety issue, from a basic risk assessment to evaluating work stations, call Croner on 0800 470 2787 and speak to our award-winning team.

What is display screen equipment?

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) is a device or equipment with an alphanumeric or graphic display screen.


safety display screen equipment


DSE law applies to a conventional computer screen, and emerging technologies devices, including:

  1. Tablets.

  2. Smartphones.

  3. Laptops.

  4. Touchscreens.

  5. PCs.

Why is DSE important?

As an employer, you are legally required to protect workers' health. Adhering to DSE regulations can be advantageous beyond employee wellbeing because good practice can improve staff motivation and reduce absences.

DSE risk assessments are designed to protect workers' health. This is because there are several health risks associated with using display screen equipment for extended periods.

What are the health risks of DSE?

These include:

  1. Back pains.

  2. Fatigue.

  3. Stress.

  4. Eye strain.

  5. RSI (repetitive strain injury).

  6. WRULD (work-related upper limb disorders).

What are the regulations for DSE users?

It is part of your legal duty to make your employees aware of the risks of display screens.

In 1992, the government introduced health & safety legislation addressing issues relating to DSE and employee health.

The legislation came into force in The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.

Regulations apply to workers who use display screen equipment (DSE) daily, for an hour or more at a time. This means the display screen regulations apply if users are:

  1. At a fixed workstation.

  2. Mobile workers.

  3. Home workers.

  4. Hot-desking (those who change desks regularly).

Employee wearing glasses after eye test looking at safety display screen equipment


What are employer requirements regarding DSE?

DSE regulations outline the minimum requirements for employers to provide a basic level of care for employees using DSE equipment. This includes:


  1. Conducting a DSE risk assessment for work environments to avoid poorly designed workstations.

  2. Identifying and training DSE users, including those with disabilities and those who use DSE infrequently.

  3. Reducing the risk to staff wherever possible and providing adequate breaks.

  4. Providing eye tests when requested by staff members to avoid eye strain.

  5. Reviewing risk assessments on a regular basis or when you make workspace changes.


It’s worth noting these assessments have to be done for remote workers, and basic risk assessments should be carried out regularly for those in long-term DSE workstations to avoid incorrect use.

Should I have an internal DSE policy?

Creating a DSE policy allows you to formalise employers' roles and responsibilities. It should include details for training and providing information to DSE users.

The aim of a DSE policy is to ensure you provide a safe, legally compliant workspace for employees using equipment with display screens.

Your DSE policy can include how to request a new DSE workstation assessment if staff feel their health is suffering.

It’s important to highlight information relating to staff entitlements, including the right to request reasonable adjustments, eye tests, or report poor design.

Expert support with health & safety from Croner

It is essential you correctly manage health and safety at work to stay both legally compliant and profitable.

With Croner’s help, you can ensure your staff are properly trained, avoid accidents before they occur, and protect your business from risk.

How to contact Croner

Croner offers a free advice line for businesses to use where you can talk to our team of health and safety experts.

If you need further support managing your health and safety in an office environment, speak to one of our health & safety experts on 0800 470 2787.

About the Author

Fiona Burns

Fiona Burns has practical experience in Health & Safety and Risk Management having worked for major insurer prior to joining Croner.

She has gained extensive helpline experience offering competent advice and timely support to large number of clients, in various industries and at all levels.  Completed the NEBOSH General Certificate, also passed NEBOSH Environmental Diploma Unit A, (IOSH Managing Environmental responsibilities). NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management Certificate, FPA Advance Fire Training, NCRQ Diploma – Distinction currently completing IPD and volunteering for Community project in Atherstone also as a Dementia support worker with CWPT.


Fiona Burns

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