Working With Display Screen Equipment - An Information Bulletin

Display screen equipment is a term that includes any work equipment that incorporates an electronic visual display of information. The most familiar is the computer workstation that is on the desk of most office workers and many in industry. However, it also includes other equipment that forms part of process controls and other equipment.

Work on DSE is the cause of a range of musculo-skeletal injuries, which are the most frequent cause of lost work time in the UK. These include conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, lower and upper back pain. These can result from repetitive motion when using the keyboard and mouse as well as poor posture.

The risks can be managed by following good ergonomic principles when choosing equipment and designing workstations.

Not only should the workers in the office have the DSE work assessed but the regulations also apply to other groups such as:

  • Home workers

  • Temporary or part-time staff, including agency workers.

There is a requirement to review the assessments periodically or whenever there is a new employee or where there are changes to the activity or the workstation. The regulations do not specify how the assessments must be carried out but where there is a significant number of employees an on-line system may be most appropriate. This also facilitates the reviews that are required.

Following the assessments, control measures must be put in place, which should be based on good ergonomic principles. All employees should then be educated in the correct use of this equipment and the optimum way to set up their workstation. They must also be informed of the employer’s policies on issues such as eyesight tests, breaks etc.

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