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Use of computers and other display screen equipment

Definition of a 'user' of computers or other display screen equipment

In some cases it will be clear that the use of display screen equipment is more or less continuous on most days and the individual concerned should be regarded as a user or operator.

Where use is less continuous or frequent, other factors concerned with the job must be assessed.

Workstation assessments: employer's duties

Workstation assessments should be carried out when:

  • a new workstation is set up
  • a new user starts work or when
  • a considerable change is made to an existing workstation

Workstation checklist on HSE Books website

When multiple people use the same workstation

As an employer you must ensure that a workstation assessment is carried out for each user at the workstation. The users must also be given sufficient training and information.

Laptop computers and DSE guidance

Portable equipment, such as laptop computers, are excluded from the DSE ACoP, except under circumstances where it is habitually used by the user for a significant part of their normal work.   

It should be noted that some of the specific minimum requirements in the schedule may not be applicable to portable computers in prolonged use but employers must still ensure that such work is assessed and adequate measures taken to control the risks.

Eye sight tests and glasses: employer's obligations

An employer is obliged to provide appropriate eye and eyesight test upon request to an employee defined as a 'user within the DSE ACoP.

Employer's are obliged to provide a basic pair of frames and corrective lenses only if they are required to correct vision defects when working with the display screen equipment concerned.

Display screen equipment - guidance on the provision of eye and eyesight tests 

Repetitive strain injury (RSI)

You must inform your employer immediately that you suspect that your health may be affected by the work that you are carrying out.

You should visit your GP who should be able to determine whether you are suffering from RSI. The GP will also be able to advise you on the actions that you should take to prevent the condition from deteriorating.

Links to DSE guidance

Display screen equipment - guidance on the provision of eye and eyesight tests   
Display screen equipment at work – approved code of practice

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