1.         Background and Definitions

Under the Occupational Safety and Health (Display Screen Equipment DSE) Regulation (Cap.509B) in Hong Kong, as an employer and person responsible for workplace, the company has a duty to ensure that a safe, healthy Workstation is made available to Users. The following definitions are assigned to the capitalised terms in this summary.

(a)       “Display Screen Equipment” is a display screen which shows letters, numbers, characters, or graphics (hereinafter referred as “DSE”). Therefore, it should be highlighted that this term does not only apply to computer monitors.

(b)       “User” is an employee as required to use DSE for a prolonged period of time.

(c)       “Workstation” is an assembly of:

(i)        DSE;
(ii)       any chair, desk, work surface, printer, document holder or other item peripheral to the DSE; and
(iii)     immediate working environment around the DSE.

2.         Guidelines issued by the Labour Department in relation to Workstation.

It is recommended that all departments should apply the following guidelines in assessing the Workstations.

(a)       Features and layout of a workstation

Please refer to the diagram in the following page for a simple illustration.

It is recommended that the diagram should be distributed to Users.

(b)       Screen

clear, sharp, steady image

characters are of adequate size, adequate spacing between the characters and the lines

brightness and contrast of the image should be easily adjustable

can be swiveled and tilted (adjustable) to suit the needs of user

(c)       Keyboard

Tiltable and detachable from display screen

Surfaces of keyboard should be non-reflective

Letters and symbols on the key tops are legible

Sufficient space in front of the keyboard to provide support for hands

(d)       Work surface

Large enough for peripheral equipment

Height of the work surface should suit the needs of user

Adequate legroom below work surface

(e)       Chair


Backrest adjustable

Sean pan of appropriate hardness

Arm rest does not interfere with keyboard operation

Stable base

(f)        Footrest

Stable footrest should be made available to the user if the chair is too high for the fee to rest firmly on the floor.

(g)       Illumination

General lighting or task lighting should be suitably provided (in general around 300 – 500 lux).

(h)      Reflections and glare

should be avoided

(i)        Noise

Noise produced by the workstation should be controlled (below 60dB(A))

Above is a mere summary of the guidelines. Please refer to the “A Health Guide on Working with Display Screen Equipment” pamphlet issued by Labour Department for more detailed illustrations as below.