Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Policy

Imperial College Union is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its members, staff, customers, suppliers, visitors, and all others who may be affected by its activities and recognises the importance of maintaining the safety and welfare of staff and students who use Display Screen Equipment (DSE). It is committed to fulfilling its responsibilities under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.

1. Definition

Display Screen Equipment (DSE)  

All computers or other equipment utilising alpha-numeric or graphical display screens, including microfiche readers and similar equipment. It covers PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones as well as other methods of displaying data, such as CCTV screens. 

DSE Workstation 

computers, monitors, printers, disk drives, telephones, document holders, work chairs, work desks or surfaces, lamps, accessories and peripheral items, and the surrounding environment (lighting, heating, ventilation, noise, humidity etc). 

User or operator

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) specify that it applies to workers who use DSE daily, for an hour or more at a time not infrequent users or short-term use. 

It is Union's Policy to: 

provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees, including measures to protect their health and safety when they are working with Display Screen Equipment (DSE). ICU will fulfil its obligations by;  

  • the provision of information and training for Users, primarily through Imperial College London (ICL) Computer Health and Safety e-learning resources.  

  • provision of suitable work equipment (including DSE workstation equipment) 

  • completion of assessments for all DSE workstations, the provision and maintenance of suitable equipment for users 

  • unsure that a full trained ICU Computer Health Assessor can undertake assessment of workstations as required. 

  • DSE users are entitled to eyesight tests and, in some instances, to provision of spectacles paid for by the College where these are required solely and specifically for DSE work. The Union is responsible for funding eye tests for individual computer users. 

2. Responsibilities

  • ICU Board of Trustees

    The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a statutory duty on organisations to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare of its employees at work and other people who may be affected by their activities, e.g., membership, volunteers, members of the public.  

    The Board of Trustees, as the governing body of the Union, has overall and final responsibility for Health and Safety matters within the Union, and for ensuring that Health and Safety legislation is complied with. 

  • Managing Director (MD)

    The Trustee Board has devolved day-to-day responsibility for Health, Safety and Welfare to the Managing Director.   

    The MD, and those acting on their behalf, will ensure: 

    • Ensure that adequate arrangements are in place to achieve compliance with the policy. 

    • MD delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management & identified roles. 

  • Senior Leadership Team

    The Managing Director will delegate to the membership of the leadership team the following responsibility:  

    • Monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of Health and Safety activities and the Union’s Health and Safety Policy and associated policies and procedures, and for ensuring that, at the strategic level, performance standards and timescales are adhered to.  

    • Chairing the Students' Union’s Health and Safety Committee and ensuring it has the time, facilities and resources to carry out its business effectively.  

    • Keeping under review this Health and Safety Policy and the Health and Safety performance of the Students' Union. 

  • Facilities, Health and Safety Manger (FHSM)

    The FHSM is appointed by the MD to undertake the following: 

    • Appoint a competent person(s) to act as ICU Computer Health Assessor.

    • Ensuring all work with computers in all ICU departments are managed to avoid health risks.  

    • Ensuring all staff using computers are provided with information, and where required, training on associated health risks & their control. 

    • Ensuring appropriate action is taken to resolve health risks identified through workstation assessments. 

    • Ensuring workstations supplied for staff use, comply with Imperial London College standards and that sufficient resource is allocated to replace damaged or defective chairs and equipment. 

  • Imperial College Union Line Managers

    Health and Safety is a delegated line management responsibility requiring managers to undertake operational Health and Safety duties identified in this policy. Imperial College Union Line Managers to undertake the following:       

    • Lead by example by following policies and challenging inappropriate behaviours, should check that staff have received information and encourage them encourage new staff to read and follow the guidance provided. 

    • Ensuring staff have appropriate computer equipment to undertake the work they are employed to do.  

    • Ensuring assessments of workstations in their area are carried out.

    • Supporting Computer Health Assessors in resolving problems.

  • Computer Health Assessors

    Computer Health Assessors are responsible for: 

    • Monitoring the conduct & outcome of workstation self-assessments; 

    • Assisting individuals with workstation assessments;

    • Advising on the resolution of problems identified through workstation assessments;

    • Promoting good practice amongst users;

    • Reporting significant problems to ICU Line Managers and Facilities, Health and Safety Manger.

  • ICU Staff

    Individual members of staff, students and visitors have a legal duty to co-operate and comply at all times with the ICU Health and Safety Policy, instruction and training provided. Staff and students are responsible for: 

    • Assisting with assessment of workstations supplied for their use;

    • Follow appropriate guidance in setting up their workstation;

    • Reporting problems identified through the workstation assessments;

  • Imperial College London

    The Students' Union, whilst an independent charity in its own right, is an integral part of the Imperial College community and could not exist without the College. The Union and College work in partnership to ensure that adequate measures are in place to ensure health, safety and welfare within the Union. The Union is committed to working with the Imperial College London Safety department and where appropriate, ensuring that the Union's Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements are in accordance with the College Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements.  

    The Union is in an unusual position in that whilst Union staff work directly for the Students' Union their contracts of employment are with the College. Whilst the Union accepts its duty of care and responsibilities, the College also has a duty to ensure, and support, the safe management and operation of the Students’ Union. 

Remote Working 

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) places a duty on ICU as an employer to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all its employees irrespective of where they may be working. This will include those working from home or elsewhere. 

ICU embraces and supports many forms of flexible working, including remote working. The risks presented by DSE remain the same regardless of the location of work. 

  • Setting up your workstation correctly at home is equally as important as when you are in the office, and the same principles apply.  

  • Find an area with adequate space to set up a suitable working zone. Ensure there is sufficient light, ventilation and no trailing cords. Your workstation includes your desk or table, chair, and PC or laptop. 

  • Any equipment other than computers or printers that is required to be used for remote or home working will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

Laptop Usage 

Laptop computers are not ideal for continuous use, only use a laptop unless you have no other choice. Incorrect or inappropriate use of laptop computers can cause health problems including neck, back and shoulder problems related to poor posture. Use of a docking station can help counter some of the uncomfortable postures often adopted with laptop use. 

Further Information


Guidance on posture at a workstation 

Mouse Equipment  

How to use the mouse correctly 

Computer Health Assessment Flowchart 


 Imperial College London Computer Health

 Workstation Self-Assessment  

HSE- Good posture 

Workstation set up at home and in the office 

Review date: March 2025