As an employer, you must protect your workers from the health risks of working with display screen equipment (DSE), such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations apply to workers who use DSE daily, for continuous periods of an hour or more. We describe these workers as 'DSE users'. The regulations don't apply to workers who use DSE infrequently or only use it for a short time.
How to protect workers' health
In law, employers must:
- do a DSE workstation assessment
- reduce risks, including making sure workers take breaks from DSE work or do something different
- provide an eye test if a worker asks for one
- provide training and information for workers
Incorrect use of DSE or poorly designed workstations or work environments can lead to pain in necks, shoulders, backs, arms, wrists and hands as well as fatigue and eye strain. The causes may not always be obvious.
The law applies if users are, for example:
- at a fixed workstation
- mobile workers
- home workers
- hot-desking (workers should carry out a basic risk assessment if they change desks regularly)
More DSE guidance
HSE's leaflet Working with display screen equipment gives more information about how to comply with the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations.
You can find detailed advice on the regulations in Work with display screen equipment.
Advice on using DSE if you're pregnant or have epilepsy is available.