What is a DSE Assessment?
A DSE assessment is a review of the working environment and any equipment relating to it, including the everyday office desk, office chair and accessories.
DSE assessments are easily overlooked, but were you aware all businesses in the UK must comply with Health and Safety – Display Screen Equipment regulations 1992 (amended 2002) and all other relevant legislation along with good practice and ergonomic standards?
In brief, this means it’s important you ensure your employees have received enough training and have been audited with information from your assessment and recorded on an up-to-date risk assessment.
You can find out more information regarding the rules and regulations from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) website here.
What should a DSE Assessment include?
With the prolonged use of computer workstations and display screen equipment, a correct DSE assessment is essential to achieve increased motivation and productivity and a reduction in staff absence.
A good assessment of a DSE user will include:
- Analyse workstations to assess and reduce risks;
- ensure risk controls are in place;
- provide relevant information alongside appropriate training;
- provide eyesight tests on request (or other eye assessments);
- review each assessment when the user requirements or DSE regulations change.
A DSE workstation assessment can be for all types of working environments and include:
- Home office;
- VDU, laptops and workstations;
- mobile smart devices;
- agile working environments, flexible spaces and hot-desking;
- reception counter or welcome desk;
- height adjustable desks (sit-stand desks);
To avoid health complications like neck, shoulder or back pain, stress, tiredness or temporary eyestrain, its imperative equipment is correctly set up and good practice is thoroughly applied to prevent and minimise injuries and musculoskeletal disorders. A thorough DSE assessment can also help make relevant adjustments to your workstation set-up and prevent any existing problems from developing or getting worse.
Are you sitting comfortably?
The above diagram illustrates our simple tips which may help users feel more comfortable in the workplace:
Tip 1: Ensure you have enough workspace to accommodate all your equipment, documents and files.
Tip 2: Keep your monitor an arm’s length away.
Tip 3: Make sure your forearms are in-line with your desk.
Tip 4: You shouldn’t need to stretch for your keyboard or mouse, your elbows should always remain in line with your sides.
Tip 5: Keep your shoulders relaxed.
Tip 6: Your eye line should be parallel with the top of the monitor screen.
Tip 7: When you sit down, sit as far back into the chair as possible.
Tip 8: If your feet do not remain solidly flat on the floor when seated (in the correct height position) you will need to use a footrest.
Tip 9: There should be a 2-3 finger gap between the back of the knee and the seat of the chair.
Tip 10: Make sure there is adequate room under your desk to move your legs freely.
Like everything, you will need to regularly review your DSE users especially when:
- There are important changes to equipment, furniture or working environment.
- If there is a significant change in job role or responsibilities.
- If the current controls in place are not effective or are causing problems.
Positive communication with your employees regarding DSE
It’s important to successfully collaborate with your team to ensure DSE assessments are effective and any relevant changes to legislation are communicated.
Positive communication will also ensure together you manage potential health problems associated with DSE in a practical way by:
- Highlighting risks
- Implementing health and safety controls are relevant and practical
- improving levels of commitment to working in a healthier more efficient way
It’s always imperative you consult with employees regarding health and safety issues. In certain workplaces where there is a trade union present, this communication will be via union health and safety representatives. For workspaces without a union, you can consult and communicate directly or through other elected representations.
How can we help?
As a competent DSE provider, Combined Office Interiors can provide complimentary DSE workstation and seating assessments either at your workplace on in one of our fully stocked COI showrooms in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk or Leicester as well as advising on suitable products, from our extensive range of ergonomic furniture and accessories.
Contact us today to book your consultation.
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