Display screen equipment (DSE) policies: guidance and examples

Read guidance from HSE on best practice, and see examples of display screen equipment (DSE) policies from schools and LAs.

Last reviewed on 16 February 2023
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Contents
  1. Read guidance on the use of DSE
  2. See examples from schools
  3. Find examples and guidance from LAs

Display screen equipment (DSE) policies are non-statutory. You're not legally required to have one, but it's a good idea if your staff regularly use DSE. 

Read guidance on the use of DSE

Any employee who habitually uses DSE in the workplace is considered a 'user'.

Regular users have the right to eye tests on request, and special spectacles if needed.

This is according to the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (see sections 1 and 5). 

Good practice guidelines from HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that:

  • Forearms should be approximately horizontal and the user’s eyes should be the same height as the top of the screen
  • Excess pressure from the edge of seats on the backs of legs and knees should be avoided
  • A computer mouse should be within easy reach, so it can be used with a straight wrist
  • Individual characters on screens should be sharp, and in focus, without flickering

This comes from HSE guidance 'Working with display screen equipment (DSE)' (see pages 2 to 3)

See examples from schools

Kelvin Grove Primary School in Lewisham has a display screen equipment policy. It covers aspects such as:

  • Lighting and daylight
  • Equipment
  • Posture

Example of a health and safety policy including DSE

Many schools include a section on DSE in their health and safety policy, rather than having a separate DSE policy.

Holbeton Primary School in Devon follows its trust's health and safety policy with a section on DSE (page 13).

It explains that staff who use DSE are entitled to an eye test every 2 years.

Find examples and guidance from LAs

Northumberland County Council has a policy and risk assessment for display screen equipment (scroll down to 'staff health & safety', select 'health & safety manual (schools)', and select the file called 'display screen equipment: policy, workstation risk assessment and eye test claim form'). It covers a wide range of things, including:

  • Managers' and employees' responsibilities
  • Eye tests
  • Workstation guidance for laptops, keyboards, using a mouse, screens, chairs and desks

Southampton County Council's safe working procedure for DSE explains relevant regulations and requirements, and includes sections on:

  • Responsibilities
  • Risk assessments
  • Hot desking and remote working

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