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Using Display Screen equipment correctly and safely

Computers have become an integral part of modern life both socially and professionally. Most of us use some form of device on a daily basis that has a display screen. For many people the use of such devices is the main feature of their working day and it is those people who need to be more aware of the dangers that the display screen equipment can pose and what steps to take in order to minimise the risk to their health.

Main dangers posed from DSE use

Prolonged use of display screen equipment, which includes keyboards, mouse, and laptops, can start to cause health issues for the user. Some common issues that arise are joint pain, eye strain, and headaches. Some of these issues can cause long term suffering while others will go away once you have identified the problem and adjusted your workstation.

How to avoid DSE related problems

Most companies these days are required to carry out a risk assessment of the work area, which includes employees' workspace. This will usually follow certain guidelines and help you to identify any potential issues that could arise as you work. Usually you will get recommendations to adjust your seat, reposition the DSE, and make adjustments to lighting and contrast etc. of the screen. As well as these adjustments it is recommended that those using a DSE for extended periods should take regular breaks from looking at the screen, as well as standing up and stretching from time to time.

The rules on DSE

There are regulations in place which mean that employers have a duty to ensure that their employees have been given the opportunity to identify and correct any display screen equipment issues. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations of 1992 was set to ensure that employers carry out the proper assessment of workspaces which include DSEs. It is also down to the employee to ensure that they identify problems and seek to address them sooner rather than later.