The DSE regulations are EU LAW. A European Directive: No. 90/270/EEC designed to prevent physical, visual and mental problems from occurring at any workstation. Compliance with the DSE regulations is mandatory.
- Train all DSE users in best practice at a workstation
- Assess or have self-assessed the workstation
- Provide breaks from computer usage
- Provide an eye sight test on request
- Let users know what you are doing with regard to the Regulations
- Meet the stipulated minimum requirements at a workstation
- Remediate reported risks as soon as possible.
DSEasy our online DSE programme delivers the top 6 requirements on-line.
90% of your users will self-assess with no need for an assessor visit.
Thereby saving you hours of time and money
There is no ‘opt out’ if you employ more than 5 DSE users you are obliged to comply.
Bear in mind that as well as complying with the Law of the land you are benefitting your Organisation because effective DSE management ensures your staff’s wellbeing leading to a more effective and productive workforce.
Other benefits to your business include
- The doing away of paper records
- Not having to visit every workstation
- Not having to record training and it’s understanding in another format
- It’s fast, so everyone can be trained and assessed within 24 hours
- Users complete when they want to
- Users are not interrupted or have to leave their workstation
- Automatic Reminders chase people to complete
- Full recording and report functionality
- Manage a range of health and safety titles from one central database.
- See Office health and safety and Manual handling in the office by clicking this link
The HSE are the enforcing authority for Government establishments including Councils and education.
The Environmental Health Department of your local Council is the enforcing authority for all businesses.
PENALTIES for non-compliance: Improvement Notice in the first instance followed by more severe penalties.
‘Whatever type of checklist is used, employers should ensure workers have received the necessary training before being asked to complete one.’
Key Phrases from the Law
- ‘Workstation Assessment requirements to be completed… not later than 31/12/96’.
- ‘Employers should ensure workers have received the necessary training before being asked to complete a Workstation Assessment’.
- Risks identified in the assessment must be remedied as quickly as possible.
- Assessment… Ergonomic checklist which should preferably be completed by users.
- Recorded assessments could be stored electronically.
- You need to provide training pro-actively to all, not reactively to those complaining of aches and pains.
- Doing so is reactive and non compliant with the law.
- You need to ensure that all the necessary training is provided; DSEasy does just that.
- Training can be provided in a variety of ways, face to face, seminars, video presentations or handouts, but… how do you ensure all those who need the training, have received it?
- The logistics can be a nightmare.
- What happens when further training information is sought at a later time, or information was misinterpreted, forgotten or never given?
The 3 Fundamental Steps to Compliance
The DSE Regulations state: “Whatever type of checklist is used, employers should ensure workers have received the necessary training before being asked to complete one”.
- Train and check knowledge.
All users in workstation best practice, advise them of the associated risks and of their entitlements.
You need to prove that the training has been understood.
(In the recent case Mrs. Clark v The Metropolitan Police, the Court was told that Mrs. Clark had received no training other than to watch a video. Where was the proof that the training had been understood?. Mrs. Clark was awarded £385,000. The Met had also failed to comply with EU Directives.
In another more recent case against Barclays Bank, a clerk who developed RSI was awarded £235,000. She had a poor ergonomic desk set up.)
- Ergonomic checklist
should preferably be completed by users or with their input (Quote from the DSE Regulations)
- DSE Assessment
An analysis of the ergonomic checklist and putting right as quickly as possible any wrongs.
To be carried out by a competent person; a trained DSE assessor as specified in the DSE Regulations.
At DSEasy we work with organisations on their compliance with the DSE Regulations.
- Organisations have choices as to how best complete the 3 steps necessary.
- Experience has shown us that in larger organisations the cost and sheer administrative burden of recording and implementing a compliance programme based upon recording findings on paper (providing training and proving understanding of the training, face to face or by seminars/videos) is not the way forward.
- An electronic programme such as the dedicated computerised program DSEasy will save £’000s and streamline and record the whole process.
By complying with the DSE Regulations and training your personnel in workstation best practice and carrying out a DSE Assessment, you should prevent all of the following problems occurring.
Physical Problems (Musculo-skeletal)
These are the aches and pains you develop working with your DSE (display screen equipment). Often due to poor posture and a poorly designed workstation.
WRULDs (Work related upper limb disorder)
What are the symptoms?
- Symptoms may present themselves initially at home rather than work.
- Discomfort/pain which may affect the hand, wrist, forearm, elbow and/or neck and shoulder.
RSI (Repetitive Stress Injury)
A syndrome with a collection of symptoms. Occurs with intensive, repetitive, forceful, gripping or twisting movements. Individually and/or collectively. Associated with very high keystroke work and intensive mouse usage.
What are the Symptoms?
- Symptoms may present themselves initially at home rather than work
- Tightness, discomfort, stiffness, soreness or burning in the hands, wrists, fingers, forearms, or elbows
- Tingling, coldness, or numbness in the hands
- Clumsiness or loss of strength and coordination in the hands
- Pain that wakes you up at night
- Feeling a need to massage your hands, wrists, and arms
Early reporting of symptoms is essential to avoid these conditions becoming disabling. Symptoms should ease with rest and relief from DSE work activity but will resume if no changes are made to the cause.
Visual Disturbance and Fatigue
DSE work does not cause damage to eyesight but may highlight pre-existing defects.
- Reduced blinking when staring at the screen
- Glare and reflections
- Incorrect viewing distance to the screen – should be approximately arms length
- Lack of suitable D.S.E work breaks (Playing computer games at lunch time for example does not give your eyes a break)
- Low humidity levels
- Inappropriate lighting; too much light is as bad as too little
- Tired sore eyes
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision or difficulty with focussing
- Take frequent breaks and exercise your eyes by blinking and focussing on distant objects
- Reposition your screen and use window blinds to avoid glare
- Check viewing distance for comfort (about arms length or 60cm-80cm)
- Keep your screen clean
- Switch off equipment when not in use, particularly your monitor, to reduce heat emission
- Have an eyesight test, they are FREE on request for all DSE users
- Use contrast/light buttons of monitor to adjust screen presentation. If you suffer from reflections on your screen and are working on a dark background with light text, swap so that you work on a light background with dark text
Working with DSE has particular factors which contribute to stress or undue pressure.
- Maybe poor job design and work organisation
- Poor working environment
- High speed repetitive working
- Social isolation
- Deadlines to be met and peak workloads
- Inappropriate software; inadequate training and skills to use the software
Symptoms are varied but may include:
- Tension and irritability
- Reduced work efficiency
Correct obvious defects in the workstation. Good design of tasks is important as is DSE and software training and always vary work activity