(Toolbox Talk) Using Display Screen Equipment, The Issues You Control

Table of Contents
Using display screen equipment, the issues you control


The aim of this toolbox talk is to increase staff awareness of the hazards associated with using Display Screen Equipment. More specifically, the issues that are within the users control.

The use of regular toolbox talks, if done effectively, will significantly improve the safety culture within your organisation. This will increase the safety awareness of the workers, and as a result reduce the likelihood of accidents and unsafe occurrences.

Legislation references

  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992

DSE (Display Screen Equipment) awareness

Display screen equipment, also known as DSE, plays a pivotal role in modern business. But it’s important to understand the risks associated with prolonged use.

What is are the risks with using DSE?

  • Headaches
  • Eye conditions
  • Back problems
  • Upper limb disorders
  • Stress

If you suffer from any of these conditions report it to your line manager or safety representative as soon as possible.

How can you reduce the risks of using DSE?

reducing the risks from using display screen equipment
  • Make sure you are familiar with the operation of your chair – if in doubt, ask.
  • Ensure you position the chair to keep the arms relaxed and the forearms more or less parallel with the work surface.
  • Place the keyboard so that all keys are comfortable to reach and the wrists are not unduly flexed.
  • Maintain a good postural position, back upright, feet resting on the floor or foot rest, thighs parallel to the floor.
  • Ensure the image on the screen is free from flicker, glare or reflections.
  • Keep the screen clean.
  • Use the right software for the task.

Controlling the workspace

  • Keep the desk clutter-free
  • Consider the use of a document holder
  • Consider the use of a foot rest

Myths associated with using DSE

  • Risks from radiation – flat screens emit only visible light.
  • Scientific studies have been carried out regarding miscarriages. There is no evidence to support the claim that pregnant workers are at increased risk from DSE (other than ergonomics).
  • Facial dermatitis is more likely to be related to environmental conditions rather than DSE use.
  • Flicker induced epilepsy sufferers are likely to be able to carry out work on DSE without any adverse effects. The Employment Medical Advisory Service can provide more information to those who suffer from this condition.

For more information about display screen equipment, visit our Introduction to Display Screen Equipment post.