Where employees "habitually use display screen equipment (DSE)" (typically computers or microfiches), as a significant part of their normal work, they may be effected by physical and/or visual discomfort if their workstation is inappropriately set up or used.  Legislation was enacted in 1993 and updated in 2007 which set down certain requirements that the employer must provide to ensure the safe use of such equipment.

What do the DSE Regulations require the employer/Head of Unit to do?

  • assess computer workstations as to their health and safety risks.
  • take appropriate measures to remedy these risks.
  • ensure that computer work is periodically interrupted by breaks or changes of activity.
  • provide training to employees in the use of computers and relevant information on the health and safety aspects of their work.

How are the DSE Regulations applied in NUI Galway Units?

A number of employees have been trained as DSE/Computer Workstation Assessors‌ to assess the safety aspects of computer workstations on behalf of Heads of Units in accordance with the DSE Assessment procedure.

Are there specific instructions for the chairs provided in NUI Galway?

Please see the chair instuctions provided by the Buildings & Estates on adjusting the main types of chairs supplied in NUI Galway. For specific queries on chairs please e-mail the Buildings & Estates at buildingsandestates@nuigalway.ie.

What is the guidance on safe/ergonomic working with laptops?

On the use of laptops below is the Health and Safety Authority's statement (as part of their FAQs):-

Do the Display Screen Equipment requirements of Chapter 5 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 apply to laptops?
Regulation 71 (d) states that “this Chapter does not apply to… portable display screen equipment not in prolonged use at a workstation
Guide to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Chapter 5 of Part 2: Display Screen Equipment says:
A laptop is not covered by these Regulations due to the fact that under these Regulations the keyboard shall be tiltable and separate from the screen so as to allow the user to find a comfortable working position which avoids fatigue in the arms or hands.
A laptop does not have a separate keyboard and a user should not work of the laptop directly for long periods of time.
It is recommended that a laptop should be connected to a separate monitor and keyboard, The workstation can then be assessed to record whether the workstation meets the requirements detailed in the Display Screen Equipment Regulation.
Other temporary laptop workstation set ups should be assessed to determine the usage of the laptop and to identify potential risks, however the user should not work of the laptop directly for long periods of time.

Are there other resources on Display Screen Equipment safety?

Ergonomics in the Workplace (HSA)
Computer Set-Up Guide
DSE/Computer Workstation Assessors (Units)
NUI Galway DSE Assessment Form
NUI Galway Safety Statement Policy - see Part 5 - Display Screen Equipment entry