Businesses now rely on technology as a normal part of many jobs and most employees use a computer during their working day. Making sure you comply with DSE regulations is an important way of maximising employee wellbeing.
What is a DSE assessment?
If your staff use a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone at work, you need to be aware of the Health & Safety Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations 1992. A DSE assessment is essentially a commitment made by an employer to ensure that all of their staff are working in a healthy way.
Display screen equipment or working at a poorly designed workstation is often blamed for a range of problem symptoms including hand, wrist, arm, shoulder and back pain and mental stress, which can have a significant detrimental effect on your wellbeing. The employer needs to make reasonable workplace adjustments to ensure that the user is working safely and feels comfortable at work.
Many of these problems can be avoided by good workplace and furniture design. So planning your office design layout effectively could lead to less staff absences and more productivity at work.
Who needs a DSE assessment?
Anyone who sits at a workstation for continuous or near continuous spells of an hour or more is recommended to have an assessment. It is good practice for every individual to receive a DSE assessment on an ongoing basis, regardless of the size of the company. Legally display screen users in companies of 5 or more employers must, by law have a written DSE assessment on file. If an employee develops chronic issues during their time working with you, and you do not have a DSE assessment on file, they may have grounds to sue.
DSE risk assessments should be carried out when a new workstation is set up, when a new user starts work, or when a substantial change is made to an existing workstation or the way it is used. The training should cover elements such as:
- Good posture and changing position
- How to adjust chairs and other furniture
- Organising desk space to work comfortably
- Adjusting the screen and lighting to avoid reflections and glare
- Breaks and changes of activity
- Contributing to risk assessments and how to report problems
Who can deliver a DSE assessment?
There are a number of ways to deliver a DSE assessment. This is usually dependent on the size of the organisation, the severity of pre-existing conditions, time limitations and general workplace culture.
Independent one-to-one assessments
Individual or one-to-one assessments are ideally suited for small businesses with up to 150 seated employees. This is where Officeworks can help when you need to seek the expertise of a qualified assessor. We not only provide the written assessment but also make adjustments to the workplace, suggest solutions and training to ensure that the individual is working safely.
DSE online audits are ideally suited to larger companies, employing more than 150 employees and / or working across multiple sites. There are typically two parts to online audits:
- Completion of an online questionnaire by employees
- Responding appropriately to symptoms or conditions that present a risk
If the employee is at risk from the information provided by a report following the assessment, the online system will flag this up to the assessor (internal or external) who can organise and complete adjustments.
This system requires a license for each user to keep track of all the correspondence that has taken place. It will also flag employees who fail to complete their assessments.