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The Health and Safety DSE Regulations 1992

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) regulations 1992 set specific legal requirements and the practical measures for the provision, and safe and healthy use of Display Screen Equipment, including computers and some types of cash registers and scientific instruments. The regulations place a specific duty of care on the part on both employers and employees.

The Regulations contain practical provisions to help make display work safer, more comfortable, more efficient and more productive.

Definition of DSE
Display Screen Equipment is an assembly comprising:

  • Display screen equipment (including software, screen, keyboard, mouse, etc.).
  • Any optional accessories to the DSE, such as, any disk drive, telephone, modem, printer, document holder, etc.
  • Work chair, work desk, work surface, storage unit, or other item peripheral to the DSE.
  • The immediate work environment around the DSE.

Definition of DSE 'user'
The regulations apply to most display screens where there is a 'user', that is, "employees who habitually use DSE equipment as a significant part of their normal work" - including self-employed persons in an employer's undertaking. There are some specified exclusions, such as systems on board a means of transport, systems mainly for public use, portable systems not in prolonged use, cash registers and window typewriters.

Employers' key duties
Under the Regulations employers are not required to conform to detailed technical specifications but are obliged to follow more general objectives. According to the HSE publication "Working with VDU's" employers must:

  • Analyse workstations, and assess and reduce risks Ensure workstations meet minimum requirements
  • Plan work so there are breaks or changes of activity (Regulation 4)
  • On request arrange eye tests, and provide spectacles if special ones are needed
  • Provide health & safety training and information
> The Health and Safety (DSE) Regulations (External link)