What are the DSE (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations

By Osmond Ergonomics on 2nd Jul 2019

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Legal Update

In January 1992, the first ‘DSE Regulations’ were published by the UK Health & Safety Executive as part of the so-called ‘Six Pack’, a set of six Regulations that spelled out the necessary actions of a responsible employer. In the main, these were not new but provided more detail about what needed to be done to comply with the requirements of the 1974 Health & Safety at Work Act.

The DSE Regulations were updated in 2002 and the full name of what we now know colloquially as the ‘DSE Regs’ is the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 as amended by Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments ) Regulations 2002.

DSE Risk Management

These Regulations relate to the risk management of those using ‘any alphanumeric or graphic display, regardless of the display process involved’. When the Regulations first came into force, they related principally to people using desktop computers although, today, the scope obviously includes laptops, tablets, smartphones and all similar devices.

The Regulations provide guidance about how employers must support and protect the health of their employees (users) who operate Display Screen Equipment. This includes

  • carrying out DSE risk assessments
  • reducing risks
  • providing breaks
  • funding eye tests
  • offering training and information

The Guidance covers task design, posture, musculoskeletal risks, stress, eyesight and equipment (chair, desk, footrest, etc.).

Mobile-devices-BYODAgile Working

As well as users in the office, the Regulations apply to home workers, mobile workers, hot desking and all forms of Agile Working.

Although the Regulations are more than a quarter of a century old, much of the content is remarkably prescient, referring as it does to ‘both conventional (cathode-ray tube) display screens and other types such as liquid crystal or plasma displays used in flat-panel screens, touchscreens and other emerging technologies’. It also makes specific reference to ‘portable DSE in prolonged use’ and ‘personal digital assistant devices’. We would probably call these smartphones today!

You can obtain a copy from the HSE. Do not be put off by the very dated illustrations!

How we can support you

We care about the bigger picture. We want to ensure that our advice and products contribute to the greater good of your workplace and your people. If you would like guidance on how best to comply with the DSE Regulations or talk to us about any specific workplace issues, contact us online or call our expert team on 0345 345 0898.

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