Display Screen Equipment

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The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulation's 1992 (as amended) require employers to minimise the risks from Visual Display Unit (VDU)/Display Screen Equipment (DSE) work, by ensuring that workplaces and tasks are well designed. The law covers those who work with VDU’s as defined:

  • "User": an employee who habitually uses DSE as a significant part of their normal work.
  • "Operator": a self-employed person who habitually uses DSE as a significant part of their normal work.
  • "Workstation": includes any assembly of DSE, accessory furniture/equipment and immediate work environment.

The Law

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulation's 1992 (as amended)

What do I need to do?

An assessment should be carried out of any "user" by utilising the check-list found in HSG90 Display Screen Equipment Work- Guidance on Regulation's (L26) HSE (p44-48) to ensure that the equipment, environment and task design/software is safe for them.

All workstations must meet the minimum requirements, laid down in The Schedule to the Regulation's (quoted from Display Screen Equipment Work (L26)):

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulation's 1992 (as amended)

Figure 1 – Subjects dealt with in the Schedule:

  • Adequate Lighting;
  • Adequate contrast, no glare or distracting reflections;
  • Distracting noise minimised;
  • Leg room and clearances to allow postural changes;
  • Window covering;
  • Software appropriate to task, adapted to user, provides feedback on system status, no undisclosed monitoring;
  • Screen stable image, adjustable, readable, glare / reflection free;
  • Keyboard usable adjustable, detachable, legible;
  • Work surface allows flexible arrangements, spacious, glare free; and
  • Work chairs adjustable.

Figure 2 – Seating and posture for typical office tasks:

Further Guidance

Working with VDUs (INDG36(rev2)) HSE

Display Screen Equipment Work – Guidance on Regulation's (L26) HSE(ISBN 0 7176 2582 6) (Priced £8.95)

The law on VDUs – An easy guide (HSG90) (2002) HSE (ISBN 0 7176 2602 4) (Priced £8.50)

Seating at Work (HSG57) (1998) HSE (ISBN 0 7176 1231 7) (Priced £7.95)

Lighting at work (HSG38) (1998) HSE (ISBN 0 7176 1232 5) (Priced £9.25)

  • Seat back adjustability;
  • Good lumbar support;
  • Seat height adjustability;
  • No excess pressure on underside of thighs and backs of knees;
  • Foot support if needed;
  • Space for postural change, no obstacles under desk;
  • Forearms approximately horizontal;
  • Manual extension, flexing or deviation of wrists;
  • Screen height and angle should allow comfortable head position; and
  • Space in front of keyboard to support hands / wrists during pauses in keying.