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Display Screen Equipment and Your Duties as an Employer

16 March 2015

Most employees nowadays will use some form of display screen equipment (DSE) or portable display screen equipment in their work, whether it’s a traditional desktop computer, a laptop or tablet. The use of any of these devices can lead to pain, discomfort, fatigue or eyestrain if attention is not paid to posture, positioning of the equipment and taking sufficient breaks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has reported that a high proportion of DSE users report pains, aches or eye discomfort. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 were introduced with the aim of protecting DSE workers by setting down guidance on effective practice and workstation setup. Simple steps can improve productivity, boost comfort and reduce the risk of workers developing problems.

The Display Screen Regulations

If you are an employer of staff that use DSE or portable DSE, you are required by the Regulations to analyse workstations and assess and reduce risks. Workstations must meet minimum requirements and work should be planned so that there are adequate breaks or changes of activity to allow sufficient rest. You are also required to arrange eye tests on request, and provide spectacles if a special prescription is required for DSE use. Additionally you must provide health and safety training and information.

Assessments should be conducted whenever a new workstation is set up or an existing one is significantly changed, or when a new member of staff starts work. If you find you are receiving complaints of discomfort or pain then it is wise to repeat an assessment and review the setup.

If you employ home workers and provide them with a laptop to use, you are not obliged to provide them with a workstation. However, you should provide suitable advice on the safe use of the device. If you do provide workstation equipment, such as a desk or a chair, then you will be required to make sure it meets DSE Regulations.

DSE Assessor Training

The HSE states that employers should always ensure a properly trained assessor goes over the results of their DSE user assessments. But what is even more beneficial is to provide training for staff who will be conducting the assessments.

Alistair Bromhead Ltd provides a 1-day qualification that equips those responsible for carrying out DSE risk assessments with the necessary competency, knowledge and skills. The course focuses on best practice and corrective actions to ensure any potential issues are identified and improvements implemented.

Interactive, Practical Training

One of the key benefits of this course is its use of practical exercises. Course participants are taken around their own workplace with a highly experienced instructor and conduct live risk assessments on a range of colleagues. Subsequent discussions are held on the issues identified, and potential solutions discussed. The course has proved extremely popular recently for a London university whose participants have particularly enjoyed the interactive nature of the training.

The Alistair Bromhead Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessor Certificate Course is held in-house over one day but can be varied from half a day to two days depending on the size of the group, existing knowledge and experience and the risk level in your particular workplace. Course documentation is provided.

To discuss any specific needs, or to book your course, call 07932 674707 or email info@abromhead.co.uk.

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