What Is A DSE Assessment? header image

3rd November, 2015

What Is A DSE Assessment?

As the name suggests, a DSE assessment is an assessment of DSE. So let's first start with defining this DSE that we need to assess.

DSE stands for Display Screen Equipment.

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) is a device or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, it includes both conventional display screens and those used in emerging technologies such as laptops, touch-screens and other similar devices.

Display Screen Equipment is essentially any screen that has its major role of displaying information.

In a work environment, desktop computers are traditionally looked at when considering DSE, but it is important to consider other display screens such as tablets, laptops and smartphones.

Why do we need a DSE assessment?

Well, mostly thanks to a short set of regulations called the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations.

These regulations lay out some key requirements for employers surrounding the use of DSE, one of which is the need to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of workstations used in the workplace.

However, this should not just be considered a tick box exercise to comply with legal requirements. A DSE assessment can actually help combat ill-health and therefore improve health and productivity in the workforce.

Problems are often caused by the way we use DSE - not DSE itself.

Computer workstations or equipment can be associated with neck, shoulder, back or arm pain, as well as with fatigue and eyestrain.

Remember, it's not just the display screen that needs to be assessed. Everything to do with the use of the equipment should be considered.

DSE assessment:

  • Keyboards
  • Mouse / trackballs
  • Display screens
  • Software
  • Furniture
  • Environment

Your DSE assessment should look not only at the equipment itself but the whole workstation. The workstation includes the display screen equipment, the keyboard, mouse, even the furniture such as the desk and chair.

The assessment should also encompass the general environment and includes lighting, reflections, glare, temperature, humidity and noise.

Need more information on DSE assessments and your legal requirements? Take our Display Screen Equipment eLearning Course.

This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.

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