Under the Display Screen Regulations 1992, employers must by law:
1. Carry Out a DSE Workstation Assessment
The employer must conduct a workstation assessment if workers use display screen equipment (DSE) continuously for an hour or more as part of their normal work.
Employers should look at the workstation set up i.e. equipment, chairs, etc., the job being done, and if there are any special requirements of a staff member i.e. a DSE user with a disability.
It is also necessary for employers to perform an assessment whenever a new workstation is installed, a new user begins work, an existing workstation is changed or used differently or users complain of pain or discomfort.
2. Reduce Risks
Employers must take every effort to reduce the risks associated with DSE, including making sure workers take breaks from DSE work or do something different to give their employees a respite from continuous screen time.
3. Provide an Eye Test If a Worker Asks for One
The law says that if employees request an eye test, employers must arrange one for them, and provide glasses if needed for DSE. This is because long spells staring at your display screen can lead to tired eyes, discomfort, temporary short-sightedness, and headaches. However, employees and employers can help their eyes by choosing the correct screen position, making sure lighting conditions are suitable, and taking periodic breaks from screen work.
4. Provide Training and Information
It is the employers' responsibility to provide health and safety information and training to users of display screen equipment (DSE). To make sure users are aware of the risks involved with DSE work, safe working practices should be taught. They should include:
- good posture
- adjusting chairs and other furniture
- arranging desk space
- adjusting screens and lighting to avoid reflections and glare
- breaks and changes of activity
- risk assessments
- how to report problems
Users should also be informed about the general arrangements employers have made for health and safety in their DSE work, as well as how to apply for an eye test.
DSE work is classified as safe with adequate training and by understanding how to set up a workstation correctly so that it does not pose a long-term threat to the individual. The objective of a DSE training course is to provide people with this knowledge, help them carry out a DSE assessment for themselves and help them prevent any long-term musculoskeletal problems.