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There is a huge variety of display screens available in the workplace and often you will be using dual monitors. However many screens you use the rules remain the same, the screens must always be; Positioned directly in front of you, the top of your screen must be at eye level, the screen should be able to tilt and your screen must be away from any glare.

You should arrange your desk to avoid screen glare or adjust curtains and blinds to eliminate unwanted light. Adjust brightness and contrast to suit room lighting. Make sure that your screen is sharply focused and flicker-free. The text needs to be large enough and the colours appropriate for your use.

Screen raisers or stands can be purchased in order to ensure that they are at the correct height for the user.

Display screens are covered by section three of the HSE DSE Checklist (point to this page) let’s review the questions asked;

1. Are the characters clear and readable?

The screen needs to be clean and smear free, try to ensure that the text you are using is a good size and that any background screens do not affect the projection of any text being used. For example, a green screen with green writing is difficult to read.

2. Is the text size comfortable to read?

Where documents are received or produced in a small or complex text, ensure that this can be adjusted for ease. It may be that your computer is set up to produce text in that format, consider adjusting the computer settings to remove this problem.

3. Is the image stable, i.e. free from flicker and jitter?

Different screen colours can be used to reduce flicker try using a light background and dark text, the simple white background and black text works best

4. Is the screen’s specification suitable for its intended use?

Where you are completing complex and detailed work, such as graphic work you may need a larger and more detailed screen. At no time should you attempt to lean forward to increase focus on a smaller and more complex image.

5. Are the brightness and/or contrast adjustable?

Often computers are set up so that you can manually adjust the brightness and contrast although this is not a requirement of the DSE regulations. Under DSE we simply need to ensure that the user can easily read the screen.

6. Does the screen swivel and tilt?

Often swivel and tilt mechanisms are built into the screen however these can be added at a later time. It is important that the screens are set up in a comfortable position for the user.

7. Is the screen free from glare and reflections?

Take some time to test this by placing a mirror in front of the screen, this will identify where the reflections are coming from (demo this). If reflections are detected then consider moving the screen and if required the desk or it may be easier to simply close the blinds if the reflection is coming from a window!
Consider that using dark text on a light background can reduce glare and reflection.

8. Are adjustable window coverings provided and in an adequate condition?

This refers to blinds and curtains, most offices have vertical slat blinds to cover windows, these work well to reduce sunlight and glare on a screen.
Anti-glare screen filters can be purchased if you are unable to remove glare, although this is the last resort and often is not required.