System includes

Here is a list of what’s included in Protecting.

Try for Free

What is a DSE Assessment?

Apple iMac on a desk in front of window overlooking city skyline.A DSE assessment is a review of risks and hazards associated with using computers, laptops, and other screens at work. It assesses positioning, usage, and other factors to identify potential health hazards for users. These are then reviewed, and improvements are recommended to reduce such health and safety risks.

DSE assessments are essential for businesses where workers spend long times sitting in front of a screen as part of their job. Offices are the main working environment where they’re used but other workstations that use screens and home offices also require them. Learn more about what a DSE assessment is and how it works to protect your employees.

What does DSE stand for?

DSE stands for display screen equipment. Examples of display screen equipment include computers, laptops, CCTV monitors, and any other screens. While they don’t contain screens, other equipment such as a keyboard, mouse, desk, and chair are also covered by a DSE assessment and should be reviewed. Their usage and positioning can affect the health and safety of users in relation to the screens.

What is a DSE risk assessment?

A DSE risk assessment is a review of the health and safety risks of using any kind of screen and relevant equipment at work. This includes using a keyboard, mouse, chair, computer, laptop, tablet, or other screens. A DSE risk assessment is sometimes referred to as a workstation assessment or visual display unit assessment.

Use our free display screen equipment checklist

Why are display screen equipment assessments important?

Display screen equipment assessments are important to safeguard employee well-being. Prolonged or inappropriate use of screens can lead to various health issues such as musculoskeletal injuries including neck, shoulder, back, and arm pain, as well as fatigue and eyestrain. A DSE assessment helps reduce these risks by ensuring the proper set-up for workers.

By creating safe and effective workstations that should help reduce the risk of injuries this can enhance employee comfort and satisfaction. That can boost productivity, reduce absenteeism, and save businesses money on healthcare costs and lost earnings due to non-working days. It may even reduce employee turnover in the long run.

Conducting a workstation assessment is also a legal requirement in many cases. This includes remote and mobile workers. Proving that one was carried out can help your business defend any claims or disputes. A proactive approach to DSE assessments is beneficial to all businesses.

What equipment does DSE cover?

DSE equipment covers:

When should DSE assessments be carried out?

DSE assessments should be carried out whenever a new workstation is set up where any kind of screens will be used. This includes for a fixed workstation, hot desking, and mobile or remote workers. If a new user starts working at a different workstation then a DSE risk assessment is necessary.

It’s important to conduct a DSE assessment if changes are made to an existing workstation as well. This could be when switching to a bigger screen, moving from a PC monitor to a laptop, or even just getting a new chair. All these actions affect the positioning and screen usage, which may change the health and safety risks.

Should any workers complain of pain or discomfort when using any screen at any workstation then you should carry out a DSE assessment. Hopefully, this can identify the cause and determine a solution to improve their comfort and health when working.

What happens in a DSE assessment?

A DSE assessment should review the entire workstation – including the desk, chair, and other equipment alongside the actual screen. Details of the job being done and any special requirements for the user (such as workers with a disability) should also be considered. The main things a DSE assessment looks at are:

After a DSE risk assessment is complete you can create an action plan to introduce control measures and reduce health and injury risks.

Are DSE assessments a legal requirement?

A DSE workstation assessment is a legal requirement for any workers who use any type of DSE every day for at least one hour continuously. This is covered by the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations. It’s not legally required to run a DSE risk assessment for employees who use DSE infrequently or for less than an hour a day.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations protect workers from the risk of injuries and place a responsibility on employers to help safeguard employee health. Employer responsibilities under the DSE Regulations are to:

Failure to follow the DSE regulations could lead to injuries, an improvement notice being issued, and employees bringing civil claims.

When must a DSE risk assessment be reviewed?

You should review a previous DSE risk assessment when any major changes to a workstation happen. This could be switching to use a different screen, chair, desk, laptop, device, or accessory like a keyboard. Their different sizes may require adjustments elsewhere to maintain a good posture, for example.

If a different or new employee is moved to a workstation then you should also review the DSE assessment to meet their needs. For example, a taller or shorter employee may need the chair adjusted or the screen position changed to work safely. Changes to the existing user’s needs are also a sign that a DSE assessment needs reviewing.