Display screen equipment (DSE)

26 August 2021

Display screen equipment (DSE) includes any computer, laptop, touch screen or similar device. This type of equipment is commonplace in most workplaces.

Laptop screen showing meeting of four people

Prolonged use of this equipment has been known to cause ill-health effects. These include fatigue, temporary eyestrain, headaches, backache and cramps. More disabling conditions can also occur in some circumstances.

The likelihood of experiencing these ill-health effects depends on a range of factors. These include the frequency and duration of use of the equipment; the intensity and pace of the work required; and if there are long spells of continuous use. Other factors, such as the amount of discretion a person has over the extent and methods of use can also contribute.

You may need to:

  • complete workstation risk assessments, reviewing these if there is a significant change or they are no longer valid
  • implement adequate precautions to reduce any risks based upon the assessments made
  • make sure that workstations meet specified standards
  • plan work so that users can take suitable breaks or change their activity as appropriate
  • provide eye and eyesight tests on request, and special spectacles if needed
  • provide appropriate information and training for staff and others
  • document your arrangements for preventing injury from display screen equipment, keeping certain records.