Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessments are essential for ensuring the health and well-being of employees who use computers and other display screen equipment at work. As an employer, you must protect your workers from the health risks of working with display screen equipment, such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. In this article we will provide a comprehensive guide to DSE assessments, including what they are, why they are important and how to conduct them.
What is a DSE Assessment?
A DSE assessment is a process to assess the working conditions of employees who use display screen equipment, such as computers, laptops, and tablets daily for continuous periods of an hour or more. This also includes musculoskeletal disorders, visual fatigue and mental stress. The purpose of a DSE assessment is to identify any risks or hazards that may cause discomfort, pain, or injury to employees, and to implement measures to mitigate those risks.
Why are DSE Assessments Important?
DSE assessments are important for several reasons. Firstly, they help to ensure the health and well-being of employees who use display screen equipment. Secondly, they can help to reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses, such as eye strain, back pain, neck pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Finally, conducting regular DSE assessments can help employers comply with legal obligations and regulations.
How is a DSE Assessment carried out?
- Employees who use display screen equipment are identified.
- A risk assessment is conducted to identify potential hazards, such as awkward postures or glare.
- Measures are implemented to mitigate those risks, such as adjusting the height of monitors or providing anti-glare screens.
- Employees are trained on proper workstation setup and posture.
- Regular follow-up assessments are done to ensure that any changes or new risks are addressed.
Legal Obligations and Regulations:
Employers have legal obligations and regulations to comply with regarding DSE assessments. For example, employers must provide employees with suitable display screen equipment, ensure that workstations meet ergonomic requirements, and conduct regular DSE assessments. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, amended in 2002 apply to companies that use computer screens and similar equipment.
The guidance above is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance is not compulsory unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action.
But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law.
In conclusion, DSE assessments are an essential part of ensuring the health and well-being of employees who use display screen equipment at work. By following the steps outlined in this article and complying with legal obligations and regulations, employers can promote a safe and healthy work environment for everyone.