Display Screen Equipment

The use of DSE (also known as VDU) is a common and essential feature of many Irish organisations today.

The use of display screen equipment, which includes workstation i.e. PC, desk, chair and associated accessories, over prolonged periods of time has the potential to cause harm and ill-health to employees.

The following sections detail a number of areas concerning the DSE requirements and the control of DSE hazards.


The use of DSE in workplaces is regulated by a number of acts and regulations, the most significant of those being:

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, Chapter 5 of Part 2: Display Screen Equipment

The Display Screen Equipment (DSE) chapter covers employees who:

  • Have no choice but to use display screen equipment at work
  • Use display screen equipment for more than one hour at a time
  • Generally use display screen equipment on a daily basis to do their work

These regulations include the entire workstation (e.g. the desk, chair, document holders and all other workstation accessories).

Laptops are not covered by these regulations and are not recommended for prolonged use.

Employer Responsibilities

As employers you are required to:  Ensure the general use of DSE is not a source of risk for employees

Carry out an assessment of the workstation and take appropriate measures to eliminate or reduce risks to as low as is reasonably possible

Assess elements of the workstation which may have a negative impact on an employee’s eyesight, physical or mental health

Plan work activities so that your employees use of DSE is interrupted by breaks or other work activities

Provide training and information to your employees regarding the safe use of workstations and the requirements set out by the regulations

Provide eye and eye sight tests to employees who use DSE as a significant part of their daily work

Employee Responsibilities

Employees also have duties, you are required to: Co-operate with your employers health and safety rules and procedures

Use the control measures your employer has put in place to eliminate or reduce your risk of harm

Report any defects in your work equipment

Report any accidents or incidents to your employer immediately

Do not engage in any unsafe behaviour that may put yourself or others at risk!

Page updated: 12/05/2015

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