DSE Risk Assessment

Mary McDade
blog-publish-date 20 March 2024

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 01455 712 123 and speak to our award-winning team.

a person sat at their computer

a person sat at their computer

What is display screen equipment?

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

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

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. Eye strain.
  3. RSI (repetitive strain injury).
  4. 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 Display Screen Equipment 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).

a person sat at their desk

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 Display screen equipment 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.

What is a DSE risk assessment?

A DSE assessment is an assessment of Display Screen Equipment and how we use it. It is required under health and safety DSE legislation.

They are a legal requirement if your employees work with a screen as a part of their role, this includes:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Touch screens
  • PCs

A DSE workstation risk assessment should identify the hazards each piece of equipment poses and suggest ways of eliminating or reducing it.

Remember that full risk assessments should be completed for each workspace/task.

Finally, you should conduct a DSE risk assessment even if the employee is working from home with their own equipment or hot-desking. Your duty of care extends to staff even when working remotely.

Are DSE assessments a legal requirement?

Yes. The government requires you to perform a risk assessment of some devices. You should provide a suitable risk analysis of all employees who fall under the requirement for the regulation.

A suitable and sufficient analysis would be one that not only identifies potential risks for hazards. It should also suggest ways of eliminating or reducing it. As well as an analysis of workstations, equipment, operator and computer interface.

You must perform a suitable analysis of the risks to all employees who fall under the requirement of this legislation.

a computer with keyboard.

How do I conduct a DSE risk assessment?

If you’ve conducted any other type of risk assessment, then you should have a good idea how to start. Begin by outlining the potential risks and then assessing them.

When considering DSE, you should take into account the entire workstation and the various pieces of equipment the individual will use. For example:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Chair
  • Desk

Once you’ve identified any risks, address them in order of which is most severe. Suggest ways to mitigate and reduce each hazard. For example, if a computer screen is fixed in place you should consider adding a mechanism to allow it to swivel and tilt.

Make sure you include staff in your assessment. They will have a better idea of how their DSE is working for them, and will be able to raise issues you may be unaware of.

a mouse mat to help users when using the computer.

someone setting u their desk with health and safety in mind.

Download your DSE risk assessment template with Croner

You can download a free DSE risk assessment form below. This template includes a list of the various risks posed by DSE, but doesn’t provide a list of actions to take.
Each workplace is different, and so your solution to the issues raised will need to be tailored to your circumstances.

Risk assessment UK law, and other health and safety legislation, can be confusing. This is why we have a great health and safety advice service, where you can get free advice whenever you need it.

If you want more detailed guidance or a sounding board for you to bounce ideas regarding health & safety in your workplace, why not speak to a Croner expert on 01455 712 123.

Disclaimer: This template is provided ‘as is’ and Croner Group Ltd excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities in relation to the template to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Croner Group Ltd is not liable for any errors or omissions in the template and shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage of any kind caused by its use. Use of the template is entirely at the risk of the User and should you wish to do so then independent legal advice should be sought before use.

Use of the template will be deemed to constitute acceptance of the above terms.



About the Author

Mary works on our health and safety advice line, and is working towards her NVQ level 6 in Occupational Health and Safety Practice.