DSE legislation in other countries

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DSE assessments

The workplace is changing, and technology is evolving at breakneck speed. But the ergonomic risks are the same whether you WFH or at an office workstation. In the UK, the Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations have been in place since 1992, so employers must protect employees and conduct regular remote or workstation assessments

But what about workstation assessment legal requirements in other countries? Whether you have an international team or you’re just curious, read on to learn about DSE regulations around the world.

Do workplace regulations differ around the world?

The vast majority of countries acknowledge the need to protect workers using display screen equipment. And legislation has aligned to protect remote and office-based workers equally. 

To summarise, most countries have two essential requirements for legislation:

  1. Employers have a duty to assess the suitability of a workspace, including an ergonomic DSE assessment
  2. Employers must provide training in using display screen equipment and healthy behaviours.

DSE legislation in Europe

In Europe, the EU-wide Agency for Safety and Health at Work has established the minimum requirements for working with display screen equipment in the EU. Directive 90/270 is legally binding and is law in 22 member states.

Employers must conduct workplace DSE assessments, evaluating the risks of eyesight, physical problems, and mental stress. They must then take appropriate action to remedy any hazards. 

Workers should also receive training in using a workstation and are entitled to regular eye tests. In many ways, the EU regulations are closely aligned with those in the UK.

US regulations for DSE workers

What about DSE legislation in the United States? Well, in the US, regulations for DSE workers are set by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration and local state regulatory bodies. 

The Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Act (1970) is a federal law that states employers must keep the workplace free of hazards, including ergonomic ones. It also encourages employers to act to mitigate those risks. Employers’ General Duty of Care is assessed on the following:

  • Whether there’s an ergonomic hazard
  • Whether the issue is recognised
  • Whether it’s likely to cause physical harm
  • Whether it’s possible to reduce the hazard.

The OHS Act includes voluntary guidelines to minimise musculoskeletal disorders. These industry-specific guidelines focus on identifying problems and encouraging early reporting of MSDs.

Display screen equipment legislation in Australia

Safe Screen Australia is responsible for Work Health and Safety laws for safe DSE working. Individual states and territories then implement these laws.

According to SSA legislation, employers should:

  • Provide education and guidance on ergonomic workstation setups.
  • Implement a DSE workplace assessment.
  • Consider all aspects of the workspace environment, including lighting, ventilation and noise.
  • Provide education on the risks of unhealthy workspace behaviours.
  • Provide information and support for physical and mental well-being.

Arrange a DSE assessment in the UK with Workhappy

The UK's HSE has extensive regulations to protect DSE workers. And an employer’s duty of care applies to anyone who works with display screen equipment for as little as one hour a day.

As an employer, it’s essential that you reduce risks by encouraging workers to take regular breaks. You should also provide eye tests if requested. And you should deliver regular training and information for office-based and remote employees.

But perhaps the most important aspect to remember is to undertake a DSE assessment every time a new workstation is set up or changed or if an employee complains of discomfort or pain. This should be a holistic assessment of the equipment, work environment and job, plus any special requirements for disabled workers.

As the UK’s number one DSE assessment provider, we’re here to help you remain HSE-compliant and keep your employees safe, happy, and healthy! No matter whether you have an office-based team, remote workers, or a hybrid set-up, we can offer the ideal DSE risk assessment for you.

Take a look at our DSE assessment options (including online self-assessments and virtual DSE assessments), and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.