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.

What is RSI and how can I protect myself?
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Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a condition that can develop from using display screen equipment for long periods of time without taking regular breaks. Typing, using a mouse, and other actions associated with DSE use repeated motions that can affect the muscles, tendons and joints of the upper body. Overuse can cause pain and inflammation. 

If you notice any numbness, tingling, weakness and pain in the wrists, hands, neck or shoulders, it could be a symptom of RSI.

So how can you protect yourself from RSI? First of all, it’s important to take regular breaks from your desk. Get up and walk around every 40 minutes or so to stretch and relax. It’s also important to maintain good posture while using DSE. Make sure you have an ergonomic chair, set your computer screen at eye level, and place your keyboard at a comfortable height. Finally, remember to use your mouse with an ergonomic grip to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your wrist.

When should an employee be issued a footrest?
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In the UK the The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, states that “A footrest shall be made available to any operator or user who wishes one”

Although the legislation clearly states that an employee should be issued a footrest if they wish to have one. We would recommend that a more balanced ergonomic approach is taken to avoid issues associated with unnecessarily being issued a footrest.  

Incorrect posture can put pressure on the lower back and legs, as well as the upper spine. Footrests can help alleviate this pressure and place the feet in a natural position. An employee should be offered a footrest if, when sitting on a correctly height-adjusted office chair, their feet can’t rest flat on the floor. 

Employees with existing muscle or joint conditions may also benefit from a footrest. The best way to establish whether or not a team member needs a footrest is to arrange a DSE assessment to evaluate their desk set-up.

How does bad posture affect your health?
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Many DSE workers sit in the same position for hours at a time. If you don’t have an ergonomic set-up, bad posture could cause health issues. Some may be short-term, while others can worsen over time. 

Slouching puts pressure on the spine and can contribute to musculoskeletal problems. DSE workers are at risk of back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as fatigue, eye strain, and headaches. 

Ergonomically designed furniture and regular stretch breaks can help reduce the risk of desk injuries. Still, the best way to protect your health is to be aware of your posture and make a conscious effort to sit up straight. You want to ensure your spine is aligned – sit with your shoulders back, and your back straight. Your feet should be able to rest flat on the ground, relieving any pressure on the lower back and legs.

How do I work safely at home?
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If you’re a DSE worker, it’s vital that you have a suitable workstation set-up whether you carry out your role from a shared office or remotely at home. To work safely from home, you should:

  • Have an ergonomic chair 
  • Maintain good posture
  • Ensure your desk is at the right height
  • Use a separate keyboard and mouse
  • Make sure equipment is within easy reach
  • Keep your screen at eye level
  • Take regular breaks to move around and stretch

If you have any concerns about your safety when working remotely, speak to your employer. They have a responsibility to arrange DSE assessments for all team members – including those who work from home. A virtual DSE assessment can help identify any areas for improvement in a remote worker’s desk configuration and reduce health and safety risks.

How Do Remote DSE Assessments Work?
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If you work remotely, you have a couple of DSE assessment options. You can opt for an in-person assessment – however, a virtual workstation assessment can be more convenient. 

With a virtual one-to-one video assessment, you'll choose a date and time that works for you and use a video call link to speak to a qualified assessor. They'll use dual camera technology to analyse your workstation the same way they would with an in-person evaluation, ensuring you are safe and comfortable.

Alternatively, you can carry out an online self-assessment – this involves answering a short set of questions about your set-up. This mode of assessment can be beneficial – and cost-effective – for larger organisations where individual one-to-ones are not feasible. 

In all cases, you'll receive a thorough report containing actionable advice to ensure you have the best workstation set-up possible.

Who Performs DSE Assessments?
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To carry out a DSE assessment, you must have the necessary training. The easiest way to get a thorough evaluation is to book a DSE assessment with a qualified assessor. They will have the expert knowledge and training to ensure your team members are working safely and comfortably whilst remaining compliant with Health and Safety regulations. 

You can also perform a DSE self-assessment. In this case, you'll receive a short but thorough training session so you can answer a questionnaire relating to your workstation set-up and DSE configuration.

If an employee completes a DSE self assessment does that meet the DSE regulations?
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The short answer is no, the longer answer is it depends. 

We would recommend a DSE self-assessment as the first step in the DSE process. Some, hopefully most, employees will complete a self-assessment and identify no risks that they cant manage themselves, in which case as an employer you have met your obligation under the DSE regulations. 

However their will almost always be employees who have need further assistance for example chronic pain, pregnancy or underlying conditions that impact their comfort. In this case you should arrange for a trained assessor to discuss their issues with them and provide reasonable adjustments to ensure they are properly supported.

Who Should Get A DSE Assessment? Do I Qualify?
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If you use display screen equipment (DSE), it's important to get a DSE assessment. You count as a 'DSE worker' if you use display screen equipment continuously for an hour or more each day as part of your job. And if this is you, then your employer has a legal requirement to carry out a DSE assessment on your workstation.

It's important to remember that DSE not only covers PC monitors and laptops but also pertains to smartphones, tablets, projectors, and any other type of electronic screen. So if you use any kind of screen device for prolonged periods of time at work, you certainly qualify for a DSE assessment, and it's highly recommended that you ask your employer to arrange one for you.

Are DSE Assessments a Legal Requirement?
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Yes – under the UK Health and Safety Regulations 1992, all employers must provide DSE assessments for any workers that continuously use DSE for an hour or more each day. If you fail to provide your team member with a DSE assessment, you could face a fine or penalty.

Why Does My Employer Have To Provide DSE Assessments?
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Your employer has a legal obligation to provide you with a DSE assessment -- it's their responsibility under the UK Health and Safety Regulations 1992. If they fail to do so, they may face penalties or fines – but why is this? All employers must protect their team members from health risks associated with display screen equipment (DSE). From eye strain and backache to carpal tunnel syndrome, there are many potential injuries DSE workers face.

Employers need to make sure the risk of these injuries is as low as possible so their staff can work safely and comfortably. After completing a DSE assessment, they must make relevant changes to ensure the best workstation set-up possible.

How Do Virtual DSE Assessments Work?
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A virtual DSE assessment is an excellent option for remote workers. If you have lots of employees working from home, a virtual video DSE assessment could be the most practical and affordable format. 

It involves a live one-to-one video session with an ergonomics expert. Your employee will receive a calendar invite with a video link. During the video evaluation, a trained assessor will use dual camera technology to check your employee's workstation set-up. The process will involve the same checks as an in-person DSE assessment and will be just as thorough.  

Following the video assessment, your employee will receive a report outlining the evaluation and any actions that need to be taken to improve their workplace set-up.

What is a DSE-compliant chair?
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Having the right office chair is vital for any DSE worker. If you sit at a desk, you want to ensure your chair is comfortable and offers the correct level of spinal support. 

According to the UK Health and Safety DSE regulations, an office chair should be height-adjustable and have a stable base. In addition, the back of the chair should be adjustable both in height and tilt, and the chair should allow you to move freely. These aspects are essential, as they ensure you can position your chair correctly in relation to your desk and DSE. Most of all, a DSE-compliant chair will be comfortable for you to sit in.

How Long Does a DSE Assessment Take?
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A DSE assessment shouldn't take very long at all. Both in-person and virtual one-to-one assessments usually take between 20 and 40 minutes to complete. With these types of assessments, your DSE assessor will explain how they'll evaluate your workstation first. 

And if you opt for an online self-assessment, it should take a maximum of 15 minutes. This timeframe includes a short training session that will guide you on how to complete the assessment accurately. 

In both cases, after your DSE assessment, you should later receive a report detailing the results. This report will highlight any areas of your workstation set-up that could be improved.

How Many DSE Assessments Should I Have?
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There’s no set number of DSE assessments you should have. However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended that you get one annually to ensure you have the best workstation set-up possible.

As an employer, you’ll also need to conduct a DSE assessment for any new starters. However, a single initial DSE assessment is not enough. It’s also your responsibility to arrange workstation assessments whenever changes to your team’s set-ups occur. This might be when:

  • An employee moves to a new workstation
  • The workstation set-up alters in any way (for instance, adding a new monitor)
  • There’s a change in the employee’s physical circumstances (pregnancy, an injury or illness, etc.)
  • A team member complains of discomfort
What is ergonomics?
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Stemming from the Greek terms ‘ergos’ and ‘nomos’, meaning ‘laws’ and ‘work’, Ergonomics looks at the relationship between people and their work environment. It aims to improve the design and arrangement of workplace items to boost productivity and efficiency, and minimise discomfort. 

When it comes to office furniture and workstation set-ups, items described as ‘ergonomic’ have been carefully developed to help you work safely and comfortably.

Am I A DSE Worker?
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A ‘DSE worker’ or ‘DSE user’ is the term given to anybody who uses display screen equipment (DSE) continuously for an hour or more each day in the workplace. Along with PC monitors and laptops, DSE workers may use tablets, smartphones, projectors, or any other electronic device with a screen.

Display screen equipment can be a vital part of our working lives, but if you don’t have the correct set-up, you may be at higher risk of injuries such as eye strain, back issues, repetitive strain injury, and other musculoskeletal problems. 

If you or your team members count as DSE workers, arranging a DSE assessment is the best way to ensure you’re using your equipment safely.

Do I have to take a DSE assessment?
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Do you use display screen equipment (DSE) such as a computer monitor, tablet or laptop for more than an hour a day at work? If so, it’s essential to take a DSE assessment. This will assess your workstation setup to reduce your risk of desk and screen-related injuries. 

We recommend an annual assessment to ensure you have the correct seating, screen configuration, and working environment. However, any change to your working conditions also means it’s time for another assessment. These changes can include moving to a new workstation or an alteration in your physical circumstances – such as pregnancy or an injury.

If you’re an employer, it’s your legal responsibility to arrange DSE assessments for your team members – whether they work in the office or remotely.

And if you’re an employee overdue a DSE assessment, you’re within your rights to ask your employer to arrange one for you.

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 employees 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 a change in physical circumstances – for instance if an employee becomes pregnant or suffers 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.

How much does a DSE assessment cost?
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The price of a Display Screen Equipment assessment can vary, but you can usually expect to pay anything between £1.00 and £325. 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, employees might undergo a virtual assessment via video or carry out an online self-assessment.

Secondly, If you want to book in-person assessments, your employees’ geographical location can impact the price. Another consideration is whether or not team members are presenting any DSE-related issues, such as strain or discomfort.

The best way to obtain a more accurate quote is to get in touch with a DSE assessor. They’ll be able to guide you on the most appropriate assessment for your team’s circumstances – and its cost.

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. In shared offices and home studies, a DSE is still an essential requirement for anyone who uses Display Screen Equipment for more than an hour every day. Not only is it a legal requirement for employers, but it can also help staff members 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. You can arrange home working workstation assessments in several ways: as an online self-assessment, a virtual (video) home assessment, or an in-person assessment.

Health & Safety – what does DSE mean?
+

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 employees’ desks or workstations are optimally set up to reduce the risk of eye strain and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

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. It’s essential that employers provide adequate DSE assessments for all staff.

What is a DSE assessment?
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Anybody who uses any form of Display Screen Equipment (DSE) at work for more than an hour a day 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 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.