Frequently asked questions

We know DSE regulations can be a pain in the back 😉 we have given some quick answers to the most common questions that we get asked.

What is a DSE assessment?
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If you use any form of Display Screen Equipment (DSE) at work for more than an hour a day, you should have regular DSE assessments – in fact, it’s a legal requirement for all workplaces. 

Also known as a ‘VDU (Visual Display Unit) assessment’ or ‘workstation assessment’, a DSE assessment looks at your workplace setup to ensure you’re working safely and highlight any potential issues.

While a DSE assessment covers devices with screens (such as laptops, monitors, and tablets), it takes your whole workstation into account. For instance, a DSE assessment may look at your keyboard placement, posture, chair height, and lighting to make sure it won’t cause strain or discomfort.

Usually, DSE assessments feature three sections: training and information, risk assessment, and risk management. 

What does DSE stand for?
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In a nutshell, DSE stands for Display Screen Equipment. Essentially, this term refers to any type of electronic device that features a display screen – for example, a laptop, monitor, tablet or TV. DSE covers traditional screens and touchscreen devices, as well as projectors, machinery displays, and interactive whiteboards.

Many of us use a range of DSE on a daily basis, particularly in the workplace. While these devices bring many benefits, they can also cause discomfort if we don’t use them safely. You might experience eye strain, neck ache, repetitive strain injury, or other issues.

A DSE assessment looks at your usage of Display Screen Equipment so you can adapt your setup and work as safely and comfortably as possible.

Health & Safety – what does DSE mean?
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Under the Health & Safety Regulations 1992, all employers must ensure their employees undergo regular Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessments. Failure to comply could result in fines. 

Many of us use multiple pieces of technology and devices with screens, and often, this Display Screen Equipment is key to our jobs. Unfortunately, incorrect usage of DSE can cause short and long-term discomfort and strain. 

By getting a DSE assessment, you can make sure your desk or workstation is optimally set up to reduce the risk of eye strain and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Can I still get a DSE assessment at home?
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With the rise of hybrid and remote working, lots of people have their home as their main workspace. Whether you work from a shared office or at home, a DSE is still an essential requirement if you use Display Screen Equipment for more than an hour every day. Not only is it a legal requirement for your employer, but it can help you work more comfortably and efficiently, and reduce the risk of long-term musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Fortunately, it’s very easy to get a WFH DSE assessment. Your home working workstation assessment can be carried out in several ways: as an online self-assessment, a virtual (video) home assessment, or an in-person assessment.

How much does a DSE assessment cost?
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The price of a Display Screen Equipment assessment can vary, DSE assessments can be free if you have a DSE-trained staff member who can review a DSE self-assessment all the way up to £325 depending on the type of assessment, location and musculoskeletal issues that an employee is presenting. This broad price range is due to an array of factors:

Firstly, there are different types of DSE assessments available and each one costs a different amount – if you work from home, for example, you might undergo a virtual assessment via video or you could opt to do an online assessment yourself.

Secondly, If you’re looking for an in-person assessment, your geographical location can impact the price. Another consideration is whether or not you’re presenting any DSE-related issues, such as strain or discomfort.

The best way to obtain a more accurate quote is to get in touch and we'll be able to guide you on the most appropriate assessment for your circumstances – and its cost

How often should I have a DSE assessment?
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As a general rule of thumb, we recommend having a yearly DSE assessment. However, under some circumstances, it’s important to have one sooner. For example, if you move to a new workstation or receive new Display Screen Equipment or furniture. 

Employers must also provide any new starters with a DSE assessment when they begin their role. Another reason to get a DSE assessment outside of the two-year time bracket is if you experience a change in your physical circumstances – for instance if you become pregnant or suffer an injury. 

Employers must also schedule a DSE assessment if an employee expresses concerns about their workstation. It’s important to note that, to be fully compliant with the Health & Safety Regulations 1992, it’s not enough for an employer to carry out DSE assessments only when an employee requests one.