and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 apply to employees who
habitually use display screen equipment as a significant part of their normal
work. A qualified assessor must assess these workstations and DSE.
A number of
health problems are attributed to use of DSE. Where problems occur, they are
generally caused by the way in which DSEs are used rather than the DSE itself.
Some users may get aches and pains in their hands, wrists, arms, neck,
shoulders or back, especially after long periods of uninterrupted DSE work.
Usually these pains do not last but in a few cases they may become persistent
or disabling. RSI is a popular term for these aches, pains and disorders but a
better medical name for the whole group of disorders is “upper limb disorders”.
Problems of this kind may have a physical cause, but may also be more likely if
the DSE user feels stressed by the work.
can usually be avoided by good workplace design and by good working practices.
Prevention is easiest if action is taken early, before the problem has become
setting up and using your computer workstation are as below.
wrists straight, elbows at 90 degrees and arms parallel to the floor
- Keep it
directly in front of you and away from edge of desk
at a comfortable angle and distance (typically: eyes level with top of
screen, screen tilted up slightly and at a distance of about 60cm from
brightness/contrast/distance/angle, if causing eye fatigue
at right angles to windows
glare from fluorescent lights (preferably between rows of lights)
- At same
height, angle and distance from screen, as near to the screen as possible
enough to allow you to change position
enough to allow you to sit at a sufficient distance from the screen and to move
the keyboard away from the edge of the desk
legroom (no obstructions underneath)
(keep mouse and telephone close to hand)
seat height and backrest height and tilt
without arm rests
- Adjust to
allow feet on floor (or footrest) with hips at right angles
straight and arms at right angle to the desk
5 minutes away from screen (and other “close” work) per 30 minutes, or 10
minutes per hour (more frequent, shorter breaks are better)
posture by exercising/getting up and moving around
- Rest eyes
by focusing on distant objects
- Turn off
your computer (processor and monitor) when not in use (eg. at lunchtime
- If you
wish to leave your processor on during lunchtime and short absences from
the office, turn off your monitor (it consumes more than half the total
power used by your computer)