How to reduce display screen equipment risks
17 February 2022
Display screen equipment (DSE) refers to any device with a screen, such as computers, laptops, and smart phones. Reducing health and safety display screen equipment risks is crucial to protect the wellbeing of workers and comply with key legislation.
If you are using these devices for work, then employers need to make sure that you have a correctly set up workstation that supports your posture to reduce the risk of discomfort or injury. It’s important to be aware of the best practice guidance for working with DSE, especially if you work from home so that you can always work comfortably.
What legislation covers display screen equipment?
The Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations 1992 places legal obligations on employers to make sure they put things in place to reduce the risk to employees. It refers to individuals who use DSE equipment continually for an hour or more. Under this legislation employers are required to:
- Provide a proper workstation
- Ensure employees are taking regular breaks
- Facilitate an eyesight test if requested
- Deliver appropriate training on using equipment safely
What are the risks associated with using display screen equipment?
Using display screen equipment incorrectly can lead to back, shoulder and neck pain and discomfort, fatigue and eye strain. Sitting incorrectly, such as being at the wrong height or hunching over a laptop screen can cause stiffness and discomfort in the upper body. A poor set up can also impact the wrists and hands. Prolonged use of a screen without sufficient breaks causes strain on the eyes which can lead to fatigue.
If these problems aren’t addressed, it could lead to chronic pain, headaches or musculo-skeletal disorders like repetitive strain injuries or carpal tunnel syndrome. Conditions like these tend to be caused by a combination of improper screen use, stressful workloads and repetitive tasks.
Display screen equipment best practices
While the employer must provide a suitable workstation and proper training, employees also need to take responsibility for their own health and safety while using display screen equipment. Taking on board the guidance given in DSE training ensures that you are undertaking tasks with the correct posture, positioning and pace.
The main things to consider include:
- Using a chair which gives your back support
- Having your display monitor at eye level so you’re not looking down
- Making sure your feet can rest comfortably on the floor
- Using suitable lighting
- Taking a break from the computer once an hour
Display screen equipment training
Dedicated DSE training must be provided for all workers- whether they are office based, remote, a mixture of both or working on-the-go.
Ideagen’s Q-Pulse WorkRite DSE training for agile workers delivers all the key information that workers need to safely use relevant equipment in all situations. The e-learning material ensures that hybrid and homeworking employees know how to set up their own workstations and makes office workers aware of risks they might encounter and how to maintain best practice while hot desking.
Our e-learning course
Find out more about how to reduce health and safety display screen equipment risks with our display screen equipment training course for agile workers.Find out more