Guidance & Information Sheet
The Safe Use of Display Screen Equipment – Distance Learning Students
This information leaflet is designed to give you guidance and information when using Display Screen Equipment (DSE), DSE refers to a screen usually forming part of a computer that shows and incorporates text, numbers or graphics.
The guidance applies to the Screen, workstation and the environment in which it is used in as well as other related equipment.
DSE equipment is often wrongfully blamed for a wide range of health problems when in fact the problems are often easily avoided by the correct use and set up of the equipment, workstation and environment.
Below are some common concerns related to the use of DSE and the steps that can be taken to reduce the associated with their use:
Ensure that you are using the correct programme for the task in question.
Aim to become familiar and comfortable with operating the programmes in question.
Think about gaining advice or assistance with tasks or programmes that you are unfamiliar with.
Contact lenses or bifocals.
The heat generated by computers and other equipment can make the air seem drier – some contact wearers find this uncomfortable.
Bifocal spectacles are less than ideal for use with DSE, as many people have to lower or raise their head to see the screen.
Try blinking regularly or using tear substitute drops.
If you are unable to work comfortably you may need to try a different type of spectacle for DSE use. Fatigue, eyestrain and headaches.
Always take regular breaks away from the DSE equipment roughly every 15 minutes.
Are the characters clear and readable?
Make sure the screen is clean.
Is the text size comfortable to read?
Settings may need to be adjusted.
Is the image stable i.e. free from flicker?
Try using different colours to reduce flicker i.e. darker background and lighter text.
If the problem persists the equipment may need checking by the supplier.
Does the screen swivel and tilt?
Ensure that the screen is positioned comfortably for individual use.
Some screens may not be able to swivel and tilt although you can add these mechanisms.
Is the screen free from glare and reflections?
Move the screen and or workstation to shield from the source of reflection.
Install blinds to windows, vertical slats are more appropriate than horizontal.
Fit anti glare filters or anti glare screens.
Comfortable keyboard position
Try pushing the display screen back to allow more room for the keyboard hands and wrists.
Users of thick keyboards may need wrist supports.
Is the device suitable for the task used?
Devices should be placed as near to the keyboard as possible. Is there support for the wrist and forearm?
Support can be gained from e.g. the desk surface, arm of the chairs or a separate device.
The user should be able to find a suitable and comfortable position in which to use the device.
Furniture / Workstation
Is the work surface large enough for all the necessary equipment?
Create more room by moving printers, documents and reference material to an alternative place.
Consider moving locations to give more room.
The workstation should be flexible enough for alteration to made when performing different tasks
Can the user reach all required equipment etc?
Rearrange equipment to allow easy access to all equipment and documents.