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Introduction to this document

Work equipment - safe system of work - workstation

Although desks and chairs are not the most hazardous pieces of work equipment, if staff don’t sit correctly, they can suffer from back, neck, arm and other medical complaints. Our document helps you avoid problems.

The law

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 are somewhat out of touch with modern workplaces. However, although it may be tempting to ignore them, the legislation stands and must be adhered to.

One of the requirements of the Regulations is to make staff aware of the risks associated with display screen equipment, workstations etc., and to ensure that they know how to avoid any potential ill-health effects. With this in mind, we have created the Work Equipment - Safe System of Work - Workstation document.

A simple guide

It is a training aid that highlights the potential issues with a workstation and what steps should be taken to avoid problems. For consistency, we have treated a workstation the same as any other piece of work equipment.

Our document suggests that if there are issues, it’s up to staff to make others aware of the fact.


The form provides guidance on how to set up the chair and the working area. It also suggests that items such as the computer keyboard and mouse should be positioned so that they can be used without the individual having to stretch or reach for them.

Get up

Forgetting to get up and move about is a common cause of ill-health effects. Therefore, our form suggests that regular breaks should be taken.