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Your employer will manage and assess the risk of DSE in the workplace, they are legally obligated to do this but in addition, they may do this for both moral and economic reasons. Let’s explore these in depth;

Legal Reasons

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 aim to protect the health of people who work with DSE. The Regulations were introduced because DSE has become one of the most common kinds of work equipment.  That doesn't mean that DSE work is risky – it isn't. It can be avoided if users follow the effective practice, set up their workstations properly and take breaks during prolonged use. By just taking a few simple precautions, work with DSE can be more comfortable and productive.

Legal breaches can often become costly to a business including; fines, enforcement notices, civil actions and sometimes even prison sentences!

To meet the requirements of the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations employers are required to complete a DSE Risk Assessment. This includes an assessment of:

  • DSE equipment including furniture and computer equipment
  • Software packages
  • The working environment

On your dashboard you will find a DSE workstation checklist which has been designed by the HSE, this is often something that is incorporated in DSE training and asks you to look at the standard and quality of the equipment that you use. Should you answer no to any of the questions on this checklist you must highlight the issue internally so that it can be immediately rectified. We will follow this checklist when looking at best practice with the user equipment.

Employers can complete their own internal risk assessment but often this checklist is used as the sole risk assessment as it is completed for each employee.

Moral reasons

Your employer needs to protect you from harm where possible, it is accepted that you cannot work in a completely risk-free environment but at the same time you are not expected to be harmed by your work. It is in the interests of your employer to ensure that you are at work and you are doing the job that you have been hired to do, they do not wish to cause anyone any harm.

Economic reasons

Businesses are designed to make money and to make a profit. It has long been recognised that in order to make money investments need to be made inadequate and suitable equipment and by hiring the right people to do the job.
Poor adherence to DSE can ultimately cost employers a substantial amount of money. This is for two main reasons;

Financial and Reputation.

Let’s look at the financial implications first.
A business hires employees to meet the demand of its customers. We all have a role to play within the business. If you are absent from work due to a DSE related injury then your job still needs to be done. Employers are often forced to hire an additional employee (through temporary or fixed term contracts) or offer overtime to cover the work that has been missed.

In addition, often employees will seek compensation from an employer where harm has been caused due to DSE negligence. Compensation is often awarded by a court and this is not the only financial impact on the business, there is often a subsequent increase in insurance premiums.
Negative impact on reputation

Customers go to a business for a service or a product, often where employees are absent the production decreases or process steps are missed. Poor service and quality is not something that is received well by customers and as such has a negative effect on the reputation of the business. Often this is fatal for a business and is something that is often impossible to rectify.