Safe use of Display Screen Equipment

  • OBUHSN-32 Issue 06 April 2009


    1. The Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations require an employer to make an assessment of all computer workstations to identify and reduce the risks to health of the individuals using them. Information and training on the safe use of DSE must also be provided to all users. The 'user', and the 'workstation' are defined below. These requirements are applicable to all those Oxford Brookes University employees who are recognised as DSE users. With the exception of vision assessment and correction, these requirements are also applicable to the self-employed and employees of other organisations using Oxford Brookes' workstations.


    1. Below are the definitions laid down in the Display Screen Equipment Regulations relevant to Oxford Brookes University:

    DSE users

    1. Deans and Directors of Faculties/Directorates will be responsible for deciding who are DSE users in their Faculty/Directorate using the guidance in  Appendix 1. All DSE users must be notified to OCSLD in order that training for the individual can be arranged. The Dean or Director of a Faculty/Directorate will review the designation of users every three years if no change of job, personnel or organisation has necessitated a prior review. Anyone not designated as a user may request and will be granted an assessment.

    Workstation assessment

    1. Deans and Directors of Faculties/Directorates will be responsible for nominating a suitably trained assessor. The assessor will assess each DSE workstation with its user(s) to evaluate the individual(s)’ safety and health risks and take appropriate measures to eliminate or reduce to a minimum any risks to health or safety which are found.

    Training and information

    1. All designated users must receive training and information on the safe use of DSE. Deans and Directors of Faculties/Directorates are responsible for arranging training for a first time user or if the workstation is changed in any way. Established users will also receive refresher training every three years or on request.

    Work routines

    1. Deans and Directors of Faculties/Directorates are responsible for structuring work on DSE so that it is periodically interrupted by breaks or changes of activity. It is recommended that after 50-60 minutes of uninterrupted keyboard work, the user undertake an alternative task for 5-10 minutes.

    Vision assessment correction

    1. The University has enhanced the statutory provisions on vision assessment and the provision of corrective appliances.

    Procedure to resolve disagreement

    1. In the event of a dispute arising over the Regulations' requirements not being met for a workstation or its user, guidance can be sought from the Safety Officer or Senior Occupational Health Advisor. In the event of an unresolved difficulty, the grievance procedure may be invoked.

    Portable display screen equipment

    1. This definition includes laptop and handheld computers, personal digital assistant and other emerging technologies. This equipment must not be used for prolonged periods of time unless a standard keyboard and mouse are attached. The screen must also be adjustable for height and tilt.

    Home working

    1. If members of staff are using DSE at home as a condition of their employment, this Health and Safety Notice and the Homeworking Implementation Guidelines for Applicants and Managers, will apply. 


    1. Guidance on determining display screen equipment users
    2. Display screen equipment workstation assessment form
    3. Display screen equipment assessors guidance notes
    4. Vision assessment and correction scheme
    5. Eye test claim form