Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992

Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992


The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, often referred to as DSE Regulations, were enacted in the United Kingdom to protect the health and safety of workers who extensively use display screen equipment (DSE) as a significant part of their job. The regulations aim to reduce the risk of work-related health issues arising from prolonged DSE use. This summary provides a comprehensive overview of the key aspects and requirements outlined in the DSE Regulations.

Scope and Definitions:

The DSE Regulations apply to employers and employees who use DSE for an extended period as a regular aspect of their work. DSE refers to devices with alphanumeric or graphic displays, such as computer monitors, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The regulations cover both fixed and portable DSE, ensuring that all workers using such equipment are safeguarded.

Employer Responsibilities: 

Under the DSE Regulations, employers are required to undertake a risk assessment of workstations and implement measures to minimize risks. Employers must ensure that workstations meet specific ergonomic criteria, providing adjustable seating, suitable lighting, and appropriate workspace layout. Employers must also offer regular breaks or changes in work activity to avoid prolonged DSE use and provide adequate training and information to employees regarding the safe use of DSE.

Employee Responsibilities:

Employees have a duty to utilize DSE according to the guidance provided by their employer and report any discomfort or health issues arising from its use. They must cooperate with their employers in implementing safety measures and attend any training provided. Employees are encouraged to take regular breaks, vary work tasks, and adopt correct ergonomic postures to minimize the risk of musculoskeletal problems.

Risk Assessments and Workstation Design: 

Employers must conduct a thorough risk assessment of workstations, taking into account factors such as equipment, furniture, lighting, environmental conditions, and work processes. The assessment should identify and address potential risks, including musculoskeletal disorders, visual fatigue, and stress-related conditions. The workstation design should accommodate individual differences in height, reach, and posture, ensuring that employees can work comfortably and efficiently.

Eyesight Tests:

The DSE Regulations stipulate that employers must provide eyesight tests upon request for employees who use DSE regularly. These tests should be conducted by a qualified optometrist or medical professional, and any necessary corrective measures, such as prescription glasses, should be provided by the employer. The cost of the initial test and any required corrective measures must be covered by the employer.

Training and Information:

Employers are responsible for providing comprehensive training and information to employees regarding the safe use of DSE. This includes guidance on ergonomic setup, regular breaks, correct posture, and appropriate work practices. Employees should receive training when they start working with DSE and be regularly updated on any changes or developments in safe working practices.

Enforcement and Penalties:

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the regulatory body responsible for enforcing the DSE Regulations. Non-compliance with the regulations can result in enforcement action, including improvement notices, prohibition notices, and potential fines. It is essential for employers to ensure full compliance with the regulations to protect the health and well-being of their employees and avoid legal repercussions.

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 play a crucial role in safeguarding the health and safety of workers who extensively use display screen equipment as part of their job. By emphasizing risk assessments, ergonomic considerations, eyesight tests, and training, these regulations contribute to minimizing the risk of work-related health issues associated with DSE use. Employers must adhere to the regulations to protect their workforce and promote a safe and healthy working environment.

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