The HSE defines Display Screen Equipment (DSE) as, "a device or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process involved; it includes both conventional display screens and those used in emerging technologies such as laptops, touch-screens and other similar devices".
Computer workstations and the like have been associated with neck, shoulder, back or arm pain, as well as with fatigue and eyestrain. These aches and pains are sometimes called upper limb disorders (ULDs), which can include a range of medical conditions such as RSI.
To gain an idea of how compliant your business is currently in this regard complete our brief self-assessment checklist - Display Screen Equipment - Item C
DSE work is not dangerous in itself but it is one of the most common types of work equipment. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 aim to protect the health of people who work with DSE. For more information about DSE, have a look at the HSE's guide for those who work with DSE and their employers - HSE: Working with VDUs.
The HSE document The law on VDUs: An easy guide - Making sure your office complies with the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (as amended in 2002) sets out the following steps to help employers comply with health and safety DSE law:
Step 1: Decide who is covered by the Regulations
Step 2: Train users and assessors
Step 3: Assess workstations and reduce the risks
Step 4: Make sure workstations and equipment comply with minimum requirements
Step 5: Plan changes of activity or breaks for users
Step 6: Provide eye tests and any necessary spectacles for VDU work
Step 7: Tell users what you have done