DSE Risk Assessment Template – Free Download

January 2, 2014
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Step by Step Guide to Risk Assessments

A risk assessment is a careful examination of what in your workplace could cause harm to people, so that you can then weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions, or should do more to prevent harm.

Employers are legally required to assess the risks in their workplace so that they can put in place a plan to control the risks.

The five main stages of a risk assessment are:

  1. Identifying the hazards.
  2. Deciding who might be harmed and how.
  3. Evaluating the risks and deciding on precautions.
  4. Recording your findings and implementing them.
  5. Reviewing your assessment and updating if necessary.


Risk Assessment Step 1: Identifying the Hazards

The first step of a risk assessment is to identify the hazards that are present at the DSE workstation. You can identify the hazards through:

  • Workplace observations.
  • Obtaining feedback from employees.
  • Checking any manufacturer’s instructions for DSE equipment.
  • Reviewing past ill health records.

Use the downloadable DSE workstation checklist to help you identify the potential risks.


Risk Assessment Step 2: Deciding Who Might be Harmed and How

The second step in the risk assessment involves looking at each specific risk and then identifying the people who are likely to be harmed by them.

Make sure that you consider every person involved in the work area where the hazard is present. For example, you may only have one user per workstation, or you may have several different people that use the DSE throughout the day.

office computer pc


Risk Assessment Step 3: Evaluating the Risks

The next step in the risk assessment is to evaluate the risks that you have identified and decide whether they can be eliminated. If not, how can you control the risks so that harm is unlikely? You could consider:

  • Introducing new or improved equipment.
  • Re-organising work.
  • Re-organising the workstation.
  • Training staff to ensure they understand the risks and precautions to be taken.

Think about the control measures that you already have in place: are these sufficient? Do you need to improve them or introduce new control measures?



Risk Assessment Step 4: Recording Your Findings and Implementing Them

It is recommended that you write down your findings from the risk assessment (where there are less than 5 employees, this is not required by law, but is still advisable).

You need to make a record to be able to show that:

  • A proper check has been made.
  • You have considered who is affected.
  • You have dealt with all the significant hazards.
  • The precautions are reasonable and the remaining risk is low.
  • Staff or their representatives have been involved.

Use the DSE assessment template above as a record of your findings.


Risk Assessment Step 5: Reviewing and Updating

You should check on a regular basis, such as every year, to see whether there have been any changes in your workplace that may affect your risk assessment. For example:

  • Are there any improvements still to be made?
  • Has there been employee feedback?
  • Have you learnt anything from the ill-health of employees?
  • Has any new DSE equipment been introduced?
  • Do you have any new employees that require training?

incident and accident book risk assessment

You should also be sure to update the risk assessment on an as-and-when basis to ensure it remains up-to-date. For example, if you have a new staff member or you introduce some new DSE equipment.


DSE Risk Assessment Template

The following DSE (Display Screen Equipment) assessment template can be used to assess the risks at your workstation and decide whether you need to take remedial action.

By undertaking a risk assessment such as the following, you are able to comply with the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.

The risk factors listed are the minimum health and safety requirements for DSE workstations, identified by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (and contained in the Annex to Council Directive 90/270/EEC(a).

Risk Factor Yes or No Action to Take
Are the characters on screen easy to read?
Does the image flicker?
Are the screen brightness settings ok?
Does the screen tilt so it can be adjusted for the user?
Can you adjust the height of the screen?
Can the keyboard position be altered?
Does the keyboard have a matt surface?
Are the keys on the keyboard legible?
Is the arrangement of equipment flexible on the work surface?
Is there adequate space to find a comfortable position whilst working?
Is the chair stable?
Can the chair’s height and back be adjusted?
Is there a footrest?
Are there satisfactory lighting conditions?
Are there any disturbing glares or reflections on the screen?
Does daylight fall onto the workstation?
Does the equipment emit any distracting noises?
Does the equipment produce excessive heat that may be uncomfortable?
Is there an adequate level of humidity?


Further Resources:

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