Display Screen Equipment (DSE) FAQ

What are DSE and DSE workstation assessments?

What does DSE mean ?

Display Screen Equipment

What is DSE compliance?

Following the DSE regulations, the associated approved code of practice and meeting the schedule of requirements.

Do all DSE users have to have an assessment?

Yes. There are a few people who use computers that are not classified as users. But we would suggest all users have an assessment and receive information and training.

What format is the assessment

Most companies use a checklist that follows the basic HSE checklist, however, this is too heavily focused on equipment placement, and for inexperienced assessors a visual checklist should be used.

Our sales manager uses a Blackberry PDA and has developed thumb pain, what should we do?

All PDA users shoudl be given sufficient training and information so that the items are used correctly and do not pose hazard to the user. PDAs are covered by the DSE Regulations and all new DSE equipment must be assessed for hazards and possible risks as per Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998)

We are about to provide our sales force with laptops what should we do?

Laptop users are vulnerable to physical (posture and manual handling), and from security (loneworking, physical assault) and so a succinct Laptop policy must be put in place.

We provide a succinct laptop and PDA user guide, and self assessment form 

You should bear in mind the electronic software can only be used for Level 1 assessments, that is, the user fills out the self assessment form, his or her self. However, to do this he or she must be trained and given sufficient information.

A DSE assessment is a combination of ensuring workstations meets the DSE Regs and providing information and training must be factored into the assessment.

A computer program cannot tell a person if he or she is sitting incorrectly, whether the upper limbs are in the correct position, what risks a particular user is exposed to at a particular workstation, most do not consider alternative types of work, secondary workareas, disability or special requirement.

Thus one should venture intot this with care because they cannot be relied on solely.

Most companies will carry out a Level 2 assessment only.


What is an Advanced DSE assessment?

An Advanced DSE assessment is a Level 3 assessment and is undertaken for workers with specific conditions or workplaces that pose specific problems. The Advanced DSE assessment is normally undertaken by a qualified specialist ergonomist with extensive experience.

What is a Level 2 assessment?

A level 2 assessment is a systematic analysis of a workstation by a trained DSE assessor. This might be a standard type assessment, or a follow up from a Level 1 self assessment where a problem has been flagged up.

Who can provide DSE assessor training?

There is no specific body that oversees this type of training and a number of different sections of occupational health and safety offer this training.

We are the number one DSE assessment and assessor training company and suggest that you ensure that the person providing the training has a qualification in ergonomics with emphasis on workplace design, physiology, and biomechanics. The HSE states that assessors must be given training in ergonomics, therefore it makes sense that the company providing the training is an ergonomic practitioner.

Get this training wrong, your company could face litigation and your staff can be demotivated while others become disabled.

A member of staff has come into work and advises that his physio has suggested that he uses a ball chair at work, we are not happy, what should we do?

First off, find out why he is sitting on the chair, and if the physio has assessed where the person works, what advice the physio has given, and then a decision can be made on whether the ball chair is the best option. In most cases it is not, as the balls  poses a hazard to others.

There are a number of alternatives to this type of seat, however, the assessment is likely to be a Level 3 Ergonomic assessment, which requires a much more detailed assessment.

We are considering buying a software program that will carry out DSE assesssments for us, is this the best way forward?

DSE assessment programs can save a lot of paperwork by automating the assessment process, leaving the assessor or manager to deal with only the issues that have flagged up in the risk assessment score.

However, there is no substitute for one to one assessments, where misunderstanding and mistakes can be identified and rectified much quicker than with a software program.