DSE Ergonomics

Display Screen Equipment Regulations

Any item of computer apparatus having a screen that displays text, numbers or graphics is referred to as Display Screen Equipment. This term is now used to describe Monitors, VDUs (Visual Display Units) and VDTs (Visual Display Terminals). The term also applies to the flat screen monitors which are now becoming commonplace.

In some cases, the total cost to an employer of an ill-managed RSI condition can be equivalent of up to 50% of the employee's salary.

DSE has become synonymous with RSI. However it is not the DSE that causes RSI it is the poor working practices of the 'user' that accompany the use of DSE. It is therefore recommended by Governmental Health and Safety regulations that all users are risk assessed. Otherwise problems including musculoskeletal disorders, eye fatigue and mental stress can occur.

A 'user' is defined as, "employees who habitually use DSE equipment as a significant part of their normal work" - including self-employed persons in an employer's undertaking (Health and Safety [DSE] Regulations 1992).

The risks to DSE workers can be minimised by following the principles underlying the DSE Regulations and guidance i.e.