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Health and Safety

Display screen equipment

Screen based work can have potentially serious effects on health.

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) workers can experience a wide range of different physical and psychological health problems including, temporary myopia, eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches, musculoskeletal problems including RSI and reproductive hazards.

These problems are caused by a combination of badly designed jobs, equipment and working environments. Most of the conditions can be prevented by rigorous attention to the way in which jobs are organised, and by provision of appropriate equipment and workplaces. This includes ensuring people are not required to do too much work in too short a time

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations came into effect in January 1993 (some small changes were made in 2002). The Regulations require employers to minimise the risks of VDU work by ensuring that workplaces and jobs are well designed, workers have adequate rest breaks and are not subjected to oppressive surveillance.

Workers defined as VDU users under the regulations can ask their employer to provide and pay for an eye and eyesight test. This is a test by an optometrist or doctor. There is also an entitlement to further tests at regular intervals.


HSE leaflet Working with VDUs

London Hazards Centre publication VDU hazards handbook

TCO quality and environmental labelling standard for cathode ray and flat panel

Hazards magazine free factsheet: Computer Vision Syndrome

The most recent documents available on this subject are:

Intensive mouse use if harmful to health
Intensive computer use appears to be associated with hand, arm, neck and shoulder symptoms, with mouse work worse for health than general computer use.
PDF version available for download
1 December 2006

London seeks to lead Britain in the challenge to secure better health and safety at work
A world class city must have world class workplaces, that means aspiring to and achieving world class standards of health and safety at work – not for some, but for all. And the roadmap for turning that dream into a reality includes there being a health and safety rep in every workplace in London and a positive and meaningful partnership between that rep, the employer, unions and the Health and Safety Executive. Those are the key messages from an event (today) organised by HSE London and the Southern and Eastern Region TUC for more than 200 London based health and safety reps.
19 November 2004

TUC evidence to DWP Select Committee on the work of the HSC/E
The TUC has presented evidence to the Work and Pensions Select Committee which is looking at the work of the Health and Safety Executive and Health and Safety Commission. The written evidence was followed up by oral evidence when the TUC was asked to attend the Select Committee to answer questions on its evidence.
24 March 2004

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