About Health and Safety Law - Display Screen Equipment (DSE)


Display Screen Equipment

There are various health and safety obligations for companies that cover the use of computers but probably the most relevant is "The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (amended in 2002)". These require all companies with more than 5 employees to provide display screen equipment (DSE) "users" with assessments to identify risk that they may be exposed to during their work.

"Users" are generally defined as staff who normally use DSE for continuous spells of one hour or more on a daily basis or who have to transfer information quickly. Many companies now carry out an assessment for any office worker using DSE.

The regulations stress that it is important for employers to take actions to reduce any risk identified during assessments. They also list basic requirements for workstations and emphasise the importance of planning breaks and changes of activity into the daily work routine of users.

Home Working

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA), employers have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, including homeworkers.

Most of the regulations made under the HSWA apply to homeworkers as well as to employees working at an employer's workplace. These include the Display Screen Equipment Regulations and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations.

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, employers are required to do a risk assessment of the work activities carried out by homeworkers.

First published 27/04/2021