Display screen equipment (DSE)

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) is the technical name for the computer equipment you use at work or home. Health problems commonly associated with computer use include, musculoskeletal problems such as back ache and upper limb disorders, and headaches and visual problems such as blurred vision and sore eyes normally due to muscle fatigue.

The majority of musculoskeletal problems can be avoided by ensuring optimum work set up and correct posture prior to commencing work. There is no evidence that using computers can cause disease or permanent damage to the eyes.

As with any other potential health hazard the key to preventing problems is through the risk assessment process and a toolkit containing information to help managers and users minimise the risks associated with the use of display screen equipment is available at http://www.healthandsafety.manchester.ac.uk/toolkits/dse/ . DSE users need to carry out a DSE Work Station Self-Assessment. This is done online and details of how to do this is provided locally via School/Local Safety Advisors. Please contact your local DSE assessor, who can assist with this. Your Head of School Administration or Head of Department should be able to tell you who this is. If you have any specific health concerns regarding DSE use, please contact the Occupational Health Service directly, or via your line manager.

Eye Tests for DSE Users

Changes to eyesight test arrangements for staff using display screen equipment

Changes have recently been made to the arrangements for eyesight tests for staff who use display screen equipment (DSE) for a significant part of their day.

If an eyesight test is requested by a DSE user, they will no longer need to obtain a letter from the University’s Occupational Health Service stating that an eye test is required for DSE use.

The new process for obtaining eyesight tests is for the DSE user to have a sight test at a registered optician of their choice. In order to claim back the cost of eyesight test, staff need to obtain a receipt from their optician and claim this back through the University’s expenses system.

If the optician advises that spectacles are required specifically for DSE use, staff should get this in writing and claim this back through the expenses system (subject to a maximum amount; currently £90).

Line managers will need to see evidence from the optician before approving the claim through expenses.

Action required by safety advisers and DSE assessors:

  1. Review the wording in paragraph 9 of chapter 34 and, if necessary, the specific role of the DSE assessor should be recorded in your local health and safety arrangements/policy documentation.
  2. Ensure that the new arrangements are incorporated into the local staff induction process.
  3. Ensure that all existing line managers and staff are informed of the changes to the arrangements for eyesight tests and made aware of the resources available on the DSE toolkit.

First Aid

The Universities First Aid procedures, First Aid training arrangements, and list of First Aiders are held within the Safety Services. Information is available at http://www.healthandsafety.manchester.ac.uk/toolkits/firstaid/