• Dorset Health and Safety

Working safely with display screen equipment

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 an hour or more at a time. 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