DSE Assessments: How often should they be completed? - Sureteam (2023)

DSE Assessments: How often should they be completed?

31 October 2022


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Categories: Blog, , Occupational Health,

DSE Assessments: How often should they be completed? - Sureteam (2)

Businesses and employees are working more flexibly that ever. In the wake of the global COVID pandemic it is now commonplace for employees to work both at the office and at home in any given week, or to have even opted to be entirely remote working.

With this, comes an increasing need for both employers and employees to be aware of the risks of prolonged use of Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and have the knowledge and ability to carry out a DSE assessment of their working environment and get help to rectify any issues identified wherever they are located.

In this blog, we look at how frequently a DSE assessment should be carried out and some of the common triggers for reassessment.

Minimum Programme of Regular Re-assessment

It’s inevitable that bodies will change, habits will develop, chairs will deteriorate, and monitors will be moved around. It’s for these naturally occurring reasons that a regular re-assessment programme should be put in place so that all employees complete a DSE check on a regular basis.

At Sureteam, we recommend that as a minimum a new DSE Assessment is undertaken for every employee, every 2 years. We also promote the ongoing education of employees so that they fully understand the risks, good practice and steps they can take to make their own adjustments to their seating positions and working habits outside of these more formal reviews.

In addition to regular assessments, there are a number of specific situations that should trigger an earlier DSE review and some of these are highlighted below.

New and Returning Employees

In the past, DSE Assessments have most likely been carried out for a new employee as part of their induction process. It would have been a natural part of their first week in the office along with meeting different department colleagues and a tour of the building.

However, with more new employees working only partly in the office, perhaps hot desking or working fully remote, these formal induction periods are more disjointed or even take place online, and so it’s important to ensure that a DSE assessment and training continue to be included in any induction programme.

The same is true for returning colleagues. Whether they are returning from maternity/paternity leave or from a period of prolonged illness, it is important that a DSE assessment is completed, even if they are returning to the same desk.

Change of Location or Workstation

Whether it’s simply changing desks or moving to a completely new office (with or without the same desk), if an employee is working at a different location, then a new DSE Assessment should be conducted.

It’s a common misconception that DSE audits are just focused on the user and the equipment they use, but they should also incorporate an evaluation of their environment including lighting, noise levels, air quality and screen glare.

These are all things that could potentially change when an individual moves location even if it is only just metres away from their old desk.

Change in Equipment

If a user has a new piece of kit whether it’s a new chair, desk or computer then a new DSE Assessment is required.

A common scenario we come across is where a business conducts a DSE Assessment, identifies an issue, replaces some furniture and then doesn’t revisit the assessment to ensure the new furniture is fit for purpose and has addressed the issue identified.

So, whether it is a complete office refurbishment or simply replacing a couple of old chairs, if the employee has a new piece of equipment a DSE Assessment is required.

Change in Role

Don’t forget too, those that have changed their role within the organisation which results in them working with display screen equipment for longer hours. For example, those that may have spent hours supervising in a warehouse but who are now on the management team sitting behind a desk for more hours, need to be aware of the increased DSE risks so they can identify and correct any issues.

Change in Working Patterns

Clearly as a result of the pandemic, the biggest change for many businesses in the area of DSE risks is that employee working patterns have changed significantly.

A good number of workers are no longer in the office 100% of the time. Many now work a significant number of days a week from home, others have to hot desk as a result of organisations closing offices during COVID, whilst others have opted to be fully remote going forward which could be in their home or in a location that suits them such as a library or coffee shop.

The challenge now facing employers is one of management and oversight, when their teams are no longer working from a central office. How do they empower workers to understand the risks involved and then carry out their own DSE assessments in all of the locations they work, as well as ensure they have taken place and that any issues identified are rectified?

This is where a combined online DSE training and assessment course is especially useful for both managers in ensuring their health and safety responsibilities have been carried out, as well as empowering employees to identify areas that are causing discomfort or worse, pain and how to rectify it.

There are a lot of other issues besides DSE assessments that employers need to think about with a fully or partially remote workforce and you can read more in our blog Agile working – the new normal – what employers need to think about.

The Risks of Not Doing Regular DSE Assessments?

Being proactive about DSE Assessments and training and encouraging your staff to take responsibility and raise concerns is key to ensuring any issues are raised quickly and pain and discomfort avoided.

If a member of the team is experiencing pain or discomfort that could be linked to working with display screen equipment, obvious ones being back pain, neck pain or eye strain, a DSE Assessment should be carried out to analyse whether the pain is caused by their working position and appropriate action taken.

Equally, if the individual has any significant changes to their personal health that could affect the use of DSE at work, an assessment should be carried out to take into considerations their specific circumstances as part of wider occupational health support.

This image is a useful reminder for the correct sitting posture:

Other DSE Resources

If you want to train up someone in your organisation to be competent to carry out DSE assessments then take a look at our DSE Assessor E-Learning Course.

Our Resources page also has links to some helpful documents by the HSE including:

Home working – your health and safety – a guide for employees

Good Posture when using display screen equipment

Display Screen Equipment Checklist

Need Some Help from Sureteam?

There are very few employees who will not use some form of display screen equipment in their role so a robust DSE assessment policy is required for most businesses.

Our professional team have extensive experience in conducting DSE Assessments and our new Healthy Working Program E-Learning Suite provides businesses with proactive DSE support that can be tailored to their business.

To find out more, give one of our team a call on 01666 503686 or click on the button below to fill out our contact form.


DSE Assessments: How often should they be completed? - Sureteam? ›

At Sureteam, we recommend that as a minimum a new DSE Assessment is undertaken for every employee, every 2 years.

How often should a DSE assessment be done? ›

How often should a DSE assessment be carried out? It's important for a DSE assessment to be carried out every time a workstation is set up, when a new employee starts work or when there is a significant change made to an employees workstation set-up.

How often should you complete workstation assessment form? ›

An assessment must be carried out if a new workstation is set up or new equipment is introduced. An assessment should also be repeated if the user starts to develop pain or discomfort at work.

Why should you complete a DSE assessment? ›

DSE assessments: the business benefits

improving the health, wellbeing and morale of employees. sustaining productivity as a result of reduced sickness absence. minimising the likelihood of compensation claims for upper limb disorders (ULD) reducing administration costs.

When should DSE training and risk assessment take place? ›

How often should risk assessments of DSE workstations be done? Answer: An assessment should be done when a new workstation is set up, when a new user starts work, or when a substantial change is made to an existing workstation (or the way it is used).

How often should a hazardous substance risk assessment be done? ›

The rule of thumb is that you should schedule a risk assessment for at least once a year. This way, you know when it has to be done, when it was last carried out, and when it will be updated.

What is a DSE work assessment? ›

The DSE Risk Assessment will review all of the tasks performed at the DSE workstation. It is a process to identify risks that may affect the health of the user. It includes looking at the keyboard, mouse, display screen, desk, chair, footrest and the working environment.

How often should you review the workers environment and equipment that they use? ›

weekly checks (eg presence of guarding, function of safety devices, tyre pressures, and the condition of windows, mirrors and CCTV on mobile plant) more extensive examinations, undertaken every few months or longer (eg general condition of a ladder, close examination of a safety harness, portable appliance testing)

How often should I review my risk assessment? ›

Companies should review their risk assessments and risk management practices once every 3 years, or: Whenever there to any significant changes to workplace processes or design. Whenever new machinery, substances or procedures are introduced.

What is the first step of a DSE assessment? ›

The first step of a risk assessment is to identify the hazards that are present at the DSE workstation. You can identify the hazards through: Workplace observations. Obtaining feedback from employees.

What does DSE mean in risk assessment? ›

A Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment is an assessment that looks at the risk involved with using a keyboard, mouse, chair, computer, laptop, tablet, and other screens at work.

What are the stages in the DSE risk assessment process? ›

  • Identify the hazard. Evaluate.
  • and. Monitor.
  • Identify the risk. associated with the.
  • hazard. Assess the risks.
  • Effectiveness of. Existing Controls.

Should risk assessments be carried out daily? ›

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says risk should be assessed "every time there are new machines, substances and procedures, which could lead to new hazards." An employer should carry out a risk assessment: whenever a new job brings in significant new hazards.

How often should a stress risk assessment be carried out? ›

4.1 A Team Stress Risk Assessment should be carried out on at least an annual basis in much the same way as other Risk Assessments are. However, action plans should be reviewed at least every 6 months and more frequently if changes are taking place.

How frequently is it recommended that you take a break or change activity from DSE work? ›

Take short breaks often, rather than longer ones less often. For example 5 to 10 minutes every hour is better than 20 minutes every 2 hours. Ideally, users should be able to choose when to take breaks. In most jobs it is possible to stop DSE work to do other tasks, such as going to meetings or making phone calls.

What is a dynamic risk assessment? ›

The definition of a dynamic risk assessment is: “The continuous process of identifying hazards, assessing risk, taking action to eliminate or reduce risk, monitoring and reviewing, in the rapidly changing circumstances of an operational incident.”

How often are you required to review your chemical inventory? ›

Anyone responsible for an area where hazardous materials are used or stored is required to maintain a complete chemical inventory and submit the inventory at least annually to EH&S.

How often must a process hazard analysis be performed? ›

The most hazardous processes must be evaluated first. All PHAs must be completed as soon as possible. Also, all PHAs must be updated and revalidated at least every five years.

What is good DSE practice? ›

Arrange desk and DSE to avoid screen glare - adjust curtains and blinds to eliminate unwanted light. Adequately illuminate source documents. Eliminate distractions, such as noise. Use a keyboard with legible, tactile keys and adjustable feet.

Who is a DSE assessor? ›

DSE Assessors provide an essential advisory role looking at workstation set-up and assisting managers in reviewing more complex cases. If your department does not have an allocated DSE Assessor, email Safety Services for advice. They can suggest an alternative DSE Assessor or put you in touch with Workplace Health.

Is a DSE assessment an ergonomic assessment? ›

Effective workplace ergonomic management actually contributes to business success. DSE/VDU Ergonomic Risk Assessments from CMSE Consultancy will assess all of your workstations and work environment. This is done to identify potential hazards and identify controls to reduce your level of risk.

How high should monitor be for DSE assessment? ›

Position the screen: so that you avoid prolonged or repetitive tilting of your neck. Your eyes should be roughly the same height as the top of the screen. If you find yourself leaning forward to peer at the screen, adjust the font size, bring the screen closer or arrange an eyesight test.

How do you carry out an environmental risk assessment? ›

How to carry out an environmental risk assessment
  1. identify any hazards, ie possible sources of harm.
  2. describe the harm they might cause.
  3. evaluate the risk of occurance and identify precautions.
  4. record the results of the assessment and implement precautions.
  5. review the assessment at regular intervals.

What is the most important factor when using a DSE? ›

Eye strain and fatigue is a major risk when using display screen equipment for extended periods of time. Steps to insure your screen complies with the regulations include: The characters on the screen should be well defined and clearly formed, of adequate size and with adequate spacing between the characters and lines.

Why your workplace needs environmental monitoring? ›

Implementing working environment monitoring helps businesses establish and maintain a healthy & safe workplace, reduce risks of affecting health and prevent occupational diseases for employees; thereby, helps employees are more satisfied, engaged, and devoted to the business, as well as increasing efficiency and ...

How many times should a risk assessment be done on a project? ›

Senior Projects Manager , Field & Marten Associates

In every project amd Everything should be considered when doing risk assessment, thats why its called risk assessment and it should be done on monthly basis after the project starts to re-evaluate risks.

How often should manual handling risk assessments be reviewed? ›

Risk assessments should be reviewed periodically and whenever circumstances change to ensure they remain current. There should also be arrangements in place to ensure that moving and handling activities are monitored to ensure that correct procedures, techniques and equipment are being used.

How often should manual handling assessments be updated? ›

Here at High Speed Training, we recommend that you refresh your manual handling training every year. This is in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who state that all health and safety training should be refreshed at least annually to ensure safety.

What are types of DSE? ›

The most common types of DSE injuries and illnesses are musculoskeletal problems (such as neck pain, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome), eye strain, and headaches.

How many sections make up the HSE DSE workstation assessment? ›

It lists risk factors in six areas, with 'yes'/'no' tick boxes: keyboards, mouse and trackball, display screens, software, furniture and work environment. It lists issues to consider and gives space to record planned action.

What is an example of a DSE user? ›

DSE refers to Display Screen Equipment such as PC's, laptops, tablets, TV screens and even smartphones. The HSE (Health & Safety Executive) class anyone who uses at least one of these for an hour or more at a time as a DSE user.

What does DSE include? ›

As an employer, you must protect your workers from the health risks of working with display screen equipment (DSE), such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations apply to workers who use DSE daily, for continuous periods of an hour or more.

What is a risk assessment vs dynamic risk assessment? ›

Formal risk assessments are prepared in advance, recorded and monitored on a regular basis. Conversely, dynamic risk assessments are 'dynamic' or ever-changing, and carried out on the spot by an individual when they enter a new environment or their current environment changes.

What is a digital risk assessment? ›

Digital risk management refers to how a company assesses, monitors, and treats those risks that arise from digital transformation. Digital risk management is a critical part of business management. Digital risk management focuses on the threats and risks to an organization's data and the IT systems that process it.

How long is a risk assessment? ›

There's no legal minimum time that you must keep your risk assessments. The HSE recommends only that you keep them for as long as they remain relevant to your business. As a general rule, five years should be suitable in most businesses.

What is a risk assessment timeline? ›

A timeframe is assessed for each identified risk. Risk timeframe refers to the time during which a risk, if it occurs, will impact the project. This rating is assessed according to the project-defined guideline in the following table. Rating.

What are the 3 main tasks of risk assessment? ›

identify what could cause injury or illness in your business (hazards) decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk) take action to eliminate the hazard, or if this isn't possible, control the risk.

How often should risks be managed? ›

For most businesses though, reviewing hazards, risks and control measures once a year is sufficient to achieve compliance, create a safe workplace and reduce the risks involved in business operations.

Should risk assessments be done on a continuous basis? ›

A continuous risk assessment should be conducted on a continuous basis in the work environment. It is a powerful and important form of assessment and should take place continually, as an integral part of day to day management.

Are risk assessments mandatory? ›

You have a legal duty to assess the risks to the health and safety of your employees (and risks to the health and safety of persons not in your employment) to which they are exposed while they are at work.

How often should a hazardous substances risk assessment be done? ›

A COSHH risk assessment should be carried out before any work with hazardous substances commences. This assessment should be reviewed regularly, at least annually, or when there are significant changes to the substances being used or the work being carried out.

How often do we conduct the risk & Control Self assessment exercise? ›

The Framework demands that all departments and functions conduct RCSAs on a quarterly basis and submit their reports to the Risk Management Function for review, validation and alignment.

Do I have to complete a stress risk assessment? ›

Employers have a legal duty to protect employees from stress at work by doing a risk assessment and acting on it. If you have fewer than five workers you don't have to write anything down. But it is useful to do this, so you can review it later, for example if something changes.

How often should you repeat your display screen equipment assessment? ›

Minimum Programme of Regular Re-assessment

At Sureteam, we recommend that as a minimum a new DSE Assessment is undertaken for every employee, every 2 years.

How frequently should a DSE risk assessment be carried out after the initial set up of your workstation? ›

2. Workstations and assessment. If workers use display screen equipment (DSE) daily, as part of their normal work, continuously for an hour or more, employers must do a workstation assessment.

How often should you do ergonomic assessment? ›

Train employees in the use of workstations before they begin work with VDU / DSE and every time the set up of the workstation is altered. Conduct another ergonomic assessment whenever employees are transferred to new workstations or when a new equipment is introduced in their workstations.

How often should a stress risk assessment be reviewed? ›

4.1 A Team Stress Risk Assessment should be carried out on at least an annual basis in much the same way as other Risk Assessments are. However, action plans should be reviewed at least every 6 months and more frequently if changes are taking place.

When should you get an eye test for DSE? ›

The law says employers must arrange an eye test for display screen equipment (DSE) users if they ask for one, and provide glasses if an employee needs them only for DSE use. DSE work does not cause permanent damage to eyes.

When should you conduct DSE exercises? ›

The HSE states that DSE self assessment training should be performed anytime there is a change in the workstation environment, DSE device change, length of absence from work suffering from related health issues.

What is the 20 20 20 rule for DSE? ›

Taking frequent breaks from the screen can help to avoid tired eyes and headaches. The 20, 20, 20 rule suggests taking a break of at least 20 seconds, every 20 minutes and to look at least 20 feet away. Screen use won't cause you to need spectacles.

How often should a safety review be conducted? ›

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends a review takes place at least once a year, although one may be required within that time if there is a material change in business circumstances.

How often should a fire risk assessment be done? ›

How often must a fire risk assessment be done? Answer: In law, there are no specific time periods for how often fire risk assessments must be done or reviewed. It states that the responsible person for assessments in your building must review it 'regularly' to make sure it's up to date.

How long does visual field test last? ›

The tests often take 15 minutes to complete in each eye; so comfort is important. Let the person giving the test know if you feel hunched over or if the chin rest is too high. You should always look at the target light.

What does DSE stand for? ›

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations apply to workers who use DSE daily, for continuous periods of an hour or more.

How do you test for visual field defects? ›

During a visual field acuity test, also called a perimetry test, you will respond to a series of flashing lights while looking straight ahead. Your responses will help the doctor determine whether you have a visual field loss. The area of vision loss gives clues as to where in the visual pathway a problem has occured.

How do I set up DSE? ›

If additional equipment is needed, please request this via your line manager.
  1. Step 1 - Your Chair.
  2. Step 2 – The Monitor.
  3. Step 3 – Your Backrest. • Adjust the height of your chair so that when you. ...
  4. Step 3 – Arm Rests.
  5. Step 4 – The Desk.
  6. Step 6 – The Mouse. ...
  7. Step 6 – Environment.
  8. Step 8 - Carry out the DSE self assessment.

Who needs DSE? ›

A DSE assessment is an assessment of risks associated with the use of Display Screen Equipment (DSE) such as computers, laptops, tablets, and other display screens at work. It is essential for anyone who uses display screen equipment as part of their job.

When using DSE How do you stop eye tiredness? ›

Look into the distance from time to time, and blink often. Change activity before users get tired, rather than to recover. Short, frequent breaks are better than longer, infrequent ones.

What is the 20 second rule for screen time? ›

Using the 20-20-20 rule can help to prevent this problem. For every 20 minutes a person looks at a screen, they should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Following the rule is a great way to remember to take frequent breaks. This may reduce eye strain caused by looking at digital screens for too long.

How often should you look away from your computer screen? ›

The best antidote, says Akpek, is to take frequent breaks. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, shift the eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. Looking into the distance allows the eyes to relax.


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