What are the advantages to having trained DSE Assessors?

What are the advantages to having trained DSE Assessors?

19 Mar 2023

Worksafe (UK)

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This informal CPD article “What are the advantages to having trained DSE Assessors?” was provided by Worksafe UK, one of the largest Health & Safety Training companies in the United Kingdom.

DSE or workstation use is found in almost every workplace and its use has been linked to a variety of health issues, such as musculoskeletal discomfort, mental stress, and visual strain. If not addressed, these health issues can lead to staff absence and potential long-term health issues which can be difficult to address.

HSE statistics for 2021/2022 show 477,000 workers suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder. Many of these will be attributed to incorrect use of DSE. So, it is no surprise that making provision for your DSE users* is a legal requirement as set out in 'Work with display screen equipment: Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.'

*Under the Regulations, a DSE user is defined as someone who uses DSE daily for continuous periods of an hour or more.

The regulations place a duty on employers to perform a suitable and sufficient analysis of the workstation of any DSE user in order to assess the health and safety risks to which they may be exposed. Any risks which are identified should be eliminated, reduced or controlled.

Are DSE Assessors a legal requirement?

No. There is nothing in the DSE regulations that specifically states that employers must have in-house DSE assessors. However, carrying out DSE assessments for DSE users is a legal requirement, and these assessments must be carried out by someone who is competent and suitably trained.

What does a DSE Assessor need to do?

The regulations set out the requirements for employers to provide workstation assessments and to provide instruction on safe working practice with DSE. For instance, employers should make arrangements to:

  • Carry out DSE assessments for all staff (including new personnel) to include:

-          good posture

-          adjusting chairs and other furniture

-          arranging desk space

-          adjusting screens and lighting to avoid reflections and glare

-          breaks and changes of activity

-          how to report problems

  • Take steps to reduce risk.
  • Ensure anyone reporting the start of a work-related ache or pain receives prompt intervention.
  • Carry out staff inductions on best practice regarding DSE use.
  • Assess workstations whenever the workplace changes, for instance moving to a new desk, furniture change, office relocation.
  • Present new employees with staff induction about the proper utilization of DSE.
DSE assessments for staff in the workplace

What are the benefits of training your staff to be DSE assessors

For organisations with a number of DSE users, it makes good sense to designate your DSE assessments to a staff member or a team of staff members who have been properly trained to ensure they are competent at carrying out DSE assessments correctly. This training will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to identify, assess, and manage risks associated with display screen equipment.

Though it is not a legal requirement to have your own trained DSE assessors, there are many benefits in doing so. For instance, having a properly trained DSE assessor in-house will allow you to carry out ad-hoc assessments as and when they are needed, i.e. when you have a new starter or when someone reports a work-related pain.

Furthermore, having trained DSE assessors can help you to:

  • Comply with UK law
  • Reduce costs in terms of sick pay and recruiting replacement staff
  • Raise morale of personnel by demonstrating the organisation's commitment to their welfare
  • Foster a positive health and safety culture in your organization
  • Minimize your likelihood of litigation for a work-related injury


Although many organisations choose to outsource their DSE assessments, it makes a lot of sense to have your own trained DSE assessor(s) in house. Doing so allows you to respond to and DSE concerns promptly and efficiently thus helping to avoid longer term health issues and their associated costs.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Worksafe UK, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs page for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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Worksafe (UK)

Worksafe (UK)

For more information from Worksafe (UK), please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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