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The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Regulation 3


1.    Extent to which employers must ensure that workstations meet the requirements laid down in this schedules

An employer shall ensure that a workstation meets the requirements laid down in this Schedule to the extent that–

(a)those requirements relate to a component which is present in the workstation concerned;

(b)those requirements have effect with a view to securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work; and

(c)the inherent characteristics of a given task make compliance with those requirements appropriate as respects the workstation concerned.

2.    Equipment

(a) General comment

The use as such of the equipment must not be a source of risk for operators or users.

(b) Display screen

The characters on the screen shall be well-defined and clearly formed, of adequate size and with adequate spacing between the characters and lines.

  • The image on the screen should be stable, with no flickering or other forms of instability.

  • The brightness and the contrast between the characters and the background shall be easily adjustable by the operator or user, and also be easily adjustable to ambient conditions.

  • The screen must swivel and tilt easily and freely to suit the needs of the operator or user.

  • It shall be possible to use a separate base for the screen or an adjustable table.

  • The screen shall be free of reflective glare and reflections liable to cause discomfort to the operator or user.

(c) Keyboard

The keyboard shall be tiltable and separate from the screen so as to allow the operator or user to find a comfortable working position avoiding fatigue in the arms or hands.

  • The space in front of the keyboard shall be sufficient to provide support for the hands and arms of the operator or user.

  • The keyboard shall have a matt surface to avoid reflective glare.

  • The arrangement of the keyboard and the characteristics of the keys shall be such as to facilitate the use of the keyboard.

  • The symbols on the keys shall be adequately contrasted and legible from the design working position.

(d) Work desk or work surface

The work desk or work surface shall have a sufficiently large, low-reflectance surface and allow a flexible arrangement of the screen, keyboard, documents and related equipment.

  • The document holder shall be stable and adjustable and shall be positioned so as to minimise the need for uncomfortable head and eye movements.

  • There shall be adequate space for operators or users to find a comfortable position.

(e) Work chair

The work chair shall be stable and allow the operator or user easy freedom of movement and a comfortable position.

  • The seat shall be adjustable in height.

  • The seat back shall be adjustable in both height and tilt.

  • A footrest shall be made available to any operator or user who wishes one.

3.    Environment

(a) Space requirements

The workstation shall be dimensioned and designed so as to provide sufficient space for the operator or user to change position and vary movements.

(b) Lighting

Any room lighting or task lighting provided shall ensure satisfactory lighting conditions and an appropriate contrast between the screen and the background environment, taking into account the type of work and the vision requirements of the operator or user.

  • Possible disturbing glare and reflections on the screen or other equipment shall be prevented by co-ordinating workplace and workstation layout with the positioning and technical characteristics of the artificial light sources.

(c) Reflections and glare

Workstations shall be so designed that sources of light, such as windows and other openings, transparent or translucid walls, and brightly coloured fixtures or walls cause no direct glare and no distracting reflections on the screen.

  • Windows shall be fitted with a suitable system of adjustable covering to attenuate the daylight that falls on the workstation.

(d) Noise

Noise emitted by equipment belonging to any workstation shall be taken into account when a workstation is being equipped, with a view in particular to ensuring that attention is not distracted and speech is not disturbed.

(e) Heat

Equipment belonging to any workstation shall not produce excess heat which could cause discomfort to operators or users.

(f) Radiation

All radiation with the exception of the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum shall be reduced to negligible levels from the point of view of the protection of operators' or users' health and safety.

(g) Humidity

An adequate level of humidity shall be established and maintained.

4.    Interface between computer and operator/user

In designing, selecting, commissioning and modifying software, and in designing tasks using display screen equipment, the employer shall take into account the following principles:

(a)software must be suitable for the task;

(b)software must be easy to use and, where appropriate, adaptable to the level of knowledge or experience of the operator or user; no quantitative or qualitative checking facility may be used without the knowledge of the operators or users;

(c)systems must provide feedback to operators or users on the performance of those systems;

(d)systems must display information in a format and at a pace which are adapted to operators or users;

(e)the principles of software ergonomics must be applied, in particular to human data processing.


OJ No. L156, 21.6.90, p.14.

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