Display Screen Equipment

DisplayScreenEquipment1The use of Display Screen Equipment is linked to WRULDs (Work Related Upper Limb Disorders) a range of musculoskeletal disorders of arm, hand, shoulder and neck.

Ill health effects of using Display Screen Equipment (DSE) could be caused or made worse by a number of factors which include:

  • screen glare – poor image quality, causing users to adopt poor posture
  • workplace stress – which after MSDs are the second most common cause of occupational ill health
  • introduction of new technology / software
  • long periods of screen work
  • poor posture
  • lack of ergonomic design for work equipment / seating and space
  • room environment
  • ventilation / temperature / lighting / humidity

DisplayScreenEquipment2DSE Regulations
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations, which came into force on 1st January 1993, with some minor changes made in 2002 are aimed at protecting the health of workers by reducing risks from VDU work, and require employers to:

  • identify users and operators
  • analyse workstations to assess and reduce risks
  • ensure workstations meet specified minimum requirements
  • plan work activities so that they include breaks or changes of activity
  • provide eye and eyesight tests on request, and special spectacles if needed
  • provide information and training

Regulation 1: what and who should be assessed
Regulation 2: an analysis of users’ workstations to assess and reduce risks
Regulation 3: general requirements for workstations, including a posture checklist, (see box)
Regulation 4: the daily work routine of users
Regulation 5: eyes and eyesight
Regulations 6 and 7: training and information

DisplayScreenEquipment3Eyes right
DSE is not just associated with WRULDs, a recent study, commissioned by the national sight charity, the Eyecare Trust, and healthcare provider, Simplyhealth, revealed that office workers spend 128,740 hours staring at a screen during their working lifetime and 90% say they regularly suffer ‘screen fatigue’ – headaches, sore or tired eyes, impaired colour perception and blurred vision.

Further information
L26 Work with Display Screen Equipment – Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002 – Guidance on Regulations (HSE Books 2003) ISBN: 0 7176 2582 6.

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