Quick guide: what is a DSE assessment?

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DSE assessments

Whether you’re an office worker concerned about your posture or an employee wanting to protect the back health of your employees, here’s all you need to know about display screen equipment DSE assessments

From legal requirements to a breakdown of what a DSE assessment entails, our quick guide should provide you with all the details required to work safely and comfortably.

What is a DSE assessment?

In a nutshell, a DSE assessment is a workstation analysis. It highlights any risks a worker may face when using display screen equipment. 

The legal side

Under the UK Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, all employers have a responsibility to ensure any workers who regularly use display screen equipment (DSE) have the correct set-up to work safely. If you don’t, you run the risk of penalties and fines.

This is also true in a number of other countries around the world.

“Regular” DSE use applies to anyone who uses an electronic device with a screen for continuous periods of an hour or more each day.

Why is a DSE assessment important?

More and more people rely on display screen equipment – from computer monitors to tablets – to carry out their work. However, while this technology can boost productivity, it can also increase the risk of injury, so it’s vital to make sure we’re using it properly. 

From musculoskeletal injuries to eye strain and fatigue, sitting in front of a screen for prolonged amounts of time can cause discomfort. The best way to reduce the risk of injury is to ensure the best desk set-up – and that’s where a DSE assessment comes in. 

By ensuring you have the correct seating, desk height, lighting, and DSE configuration, an assessment can reduce the risk of injury associated with a desk job. It can also make your work experience more comfortable and improve your mental and physical well-being.

When should I carry out a DSE assessment?

There are five key circumstances that require a DSE assessment. You should arrange one any time: 

  • A new employee starts
  • An employee moves to a new workstation
  • A DSE user complains of pain or discomfort
  • There’s a change in a worker’s physical circumstances – for example, pregnancy or an injury
  • There’s a change to an existing workstation’s set-up or the way it’s used

Outside of these events, it’s a good idea to carry out annual DSE assessments. Regular checks will prevent issues from arising.

What happens in the assessment?

During a DSE assessment, the assessor will analyse the entire set-up of your workstation. They’ll look at the work environment in general and the kind of job you do. 

Key areas of interest are:

The configuration of your PC monitor, laptop screen or other DSE 

Is it at the right height? Is the screen brightness adequate?


Do you have plenty of natural light, for instance? Do you have to strain to see your screen properly?

Keyboard and mouse set-up

Are your wrists straight and comfortable when typing? 

Your desk and chair set-up

Is the height suitable? Can your feet touch the ground? Do you have an ergonomic chair that encourages good posture?

Any special requirements

For example, do you need any adjustments for a disability or health concern?

Once any risks have been identified, it’s your responsibility as an employer to take the necessary steps to reduce them. 

Does my device need a DSE assessment?

Whilst laptops and PC monitors are the most common devices in the workplace, it’s essential to check any other type of display screen equipment, including:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Laptops
  • PC monitors
  • Smartboards
  • Projector screens

How is a DSE assessment conducted? 

There are several ways to arrange a DSE assessment.

  • A classic in-person workstation assessment is the traditional option. This involves a qualified assessor visiting your workplace and carrying out the above checks. At Workhappy, we offer assessments in the office and at your employee’s homes if they work remotely.
  • An online self-assessment is an easy and quick way to ensure your team is compliant. Using online DSE assessment software, each employee can complete a questionnaire to check their workstation set-up. A qualified assessor will review their answers.
  • A virtual assessment is similar to an in-person evaluation, except it will be conducted via video. A trained assessor will use dual camera technology to risk assess each employee’s workstation.

Arrange a DSE assessment with Workhappy

Whether your employees work together in an office or independently from home, it’s crucial to ensure they have the correct workstation set-up. The team at Workhappy have the experience and training to carry out effective DSE assessments and services for your employees. 

To learn more or to arrange a DSE assessment for your team, please feel free to get in touch today.