Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

find out more on how to keep yourself healthy while using DSE.

DSE are devices or equipment that have an alphanumeric or graphic display screen and includes display screens, laptops, touch screens and other similar devices. Some workers may experience fatigue, eye strain, upper limb problems and backache from overuse or improper use of DSE. These problems can also be experienced from poorly designed workstations or work environments. The causes may not always be obvious and can be due to a combination of factors.



The use of DSE is governed by the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations. These regulations apply to members of staff who are defined as users. In the case of such staff, their workstation must be assessed to determine the health risks and the user must be provided with a free eye test when they request it. If the tests show that it is necessary for the user to have spectacles specifically for use with DSE, these must be provided free of charge.


In order to comply with these regulations, the University of Portsmouth provides employees with:


  • An eye test if a worker requires one (habitual user)
  • Display Screen Equipment awareness training and assessment
  • Training and information for workers
  • Occupational Health Referrals


Get in touch   Request a Eye Test Voucher


DSE user(s)

The DSE regulations define a user as an individual who habitually uses display screen equipment as a significant part of their normal work.

To help decide whether an individual falls into this category, the following factors need to be considered. As a guide, if an individual has sessions of continuous DSE use for more than 1 hour nearly every day, they are considered a user. 

A large amount of display screen equipment work, particularly that carried out by academics and other researchers, is intermittent, this makes it difficult to assess if the individual is a user. Therefore, in these cases the total time spent using display screen equipment over a period of a week should be considered and the following guide used:


  • if the average is about 2 hours a day or more, the individual is considered a user
  • if the average is less than 1 hour then, subject to an examination of the type of usage, the individual is not defined as a user
  • if the average is between 1 and 2 hours, the type of usage must be taken into account

User tests

Members of staff can request an eyesight test via the Health and Safety Hub. There is a requirement to agree with the following declaration in order to submit a request:


‘Once authorised, the requester will be sent an email with an attached Specsavers eye test voucher or Safety Spectacles form, and will then need to make arrangements with any Specsavers branch to have an eye test. It is University policy to issue an eyesight voucher every two years. The DSE risk assessment training must be completed as part of new starter core training or every three years thereafter before applying for a test. Training should also be retaken when staff members move desk locations.’


Line managers will be contacted to authorise the request and by doing so, confirm the member of staff is a DSE user as detailed above. Corporate Health and Safety will check if the online DSE training and risk assessment has been completed, prior to issuing a voucher.


For more information on how to access the online Display Screen Equipment (DSE) training, please click here.


If there are any queries regarding this criteria or further information is required please contact Corporate Health and Safety on 02392843075 or via hsservicedesk@port.ac.uk.


Voucher Details

You will be sent an email with an attached eye test voucher and will then need to make arrangements with any Specsavers branch to have an eye test. The Specsavers voucher will entitle the user to a free eye test and £45 towards the cost of corrective appliances if solely for DSE use.


Should staff members wish to upgrade to more expensive frames, lenses or varifocals this may be done at their own expense. Please note this scheme does not include the provision of contact lenses.


Some staff may already receive a free eye test (for example if they are over 60 or a glaucoma sufferer) but this does not exclude them from receiving a contribution from the University towards their spectacles should they require them specifically for DSE use.

DSE Online Training and Assessment

Corporate Health and Safety provide online Display Screen Equipment training and risk assessment. The objective is to provide DSE users with training in accordance with the University Policy and legislation, Approved Codes of Practice and HSE guidelines. This training is targeted at all University of Portsmouth members of staff who are users.


The online training is approximately 20 minutes in total and contains a quiz at the end to ensure learning has been achieved. The DSE training can be accessed here. It will take you to Moodle and ask you to log in. The training should already be assigned to you and appear under your core training, if does not appear, you can search for it using the key search word DSE. You will be required self-enrol, you will then be able to complete the training. Training will not be registered as complete unless both the course and quiz have been completed.


If you have any queries/issues concerning access, please email hsservicedesk@port.ac.uk.


This training is mandatory for all University staff and must be completed every 3 years, or sooner if your circumstances change. For example, new computer equipment, new furniture (desk/chair), change in location/building, change in desk setup.


The University is unable to reimburse the costs should members of staff choose to go elsewhere. 

If you have any queries or require any further information, please ensure you direct your enquiry to the correct contact, if you are unsure, please contact the Corporate Health and Safety Department:


DSE, Eyecare Information, etc.

T: 02392 843075

E: hsservicedesk@port.ac.uk


Computers, Software, etc.

T: 02392 847777

E: servicedesk@port.ac.uk


Health concerns or issues

T: 011 8207 6190

E: admin@cordellhealth.co.uk

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