In our last article, we discussed the importance of using trained assessors to carry out display screen equipment (DSE) workstation assessments. Following on from this, we thought it would be useful to also look at the need for DSE training in light of the way technology has moved on considerably, whilst guidance on the subject of DSE has really not kept up.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations were issued in 1992, and the guidance was last re-published as far back as 2003. Let’s take a look at the sort of technology that was commonly used back then.
Monitors, with their cathode ray tubes and excessively bulky back-ends, tended to take up most of the desk. PC towers were also bulky; many of them still sporting built-in floppy disk drives, a hangover from the 1990s. Fax machines were still in regular use, and mobile phones were just that phones. They certainly weren’t used for online working, collaborating and video calling. Tablets hadn’t been invented, and laptops were starting to reduce in size, although they were still chunky and heavy and they did not tend to be used much in a workplace environment. It was still considered fairly OK to print volumes of paperwork, although the decline had begun to kick in. And everyone had their own premises-based workstation, usually made up of an L-shaped desk and lots and lots of filing and storage.
Compare this to now.
Our monitors are flat and much, much wider and many of us work on at least two, if not more at a time. Faxes, if still used, are sent electronically. We video call our clients, and work on the go using smartphones and tablets. Laptops are paper-thin and light, and widely used in the working environment. The cloud has given us ‘thin client’ PC towers, much reduced in size. Printing is frowned upon so there is little need for filing cabinets and storage, and we regularly hop from desk to desk or work from home or in collaborative environments. Desks are aesthetically designed, and some even adjust in height to allow a choice between sit and stand working. What’s more, technology now plays a major role in many hobbies and outside interests, which means we’re all looking at our screens for a much longer period every day.
Things really have changed, but the DSE guidance has not.
For this reason, the importance of professional DSE workstation training cannot be stressed enough.
All DSE users are entitled by law to a DSE workstation assessment. To be effective and relevant to today’s modern working environments, this assessment MUST be carried out by an assessor with up to date knowledge and skills. The only way to ensure this is to send assessors on regular training and refresher courses. Technology changes in a flash, which makes keeping skills and knowledge up to date crucial.
DSE Workstation Assessment Training for the Modern Workplace
At Alistair Bromhead Ltd, we offer a one-day qualification course for DSE workstation assessors. The training is based around the issues that arise with today’s working styles and technology.
The Alistair Bromhead Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessor Certificate Course can be tailored to specific needs and working practices. So, if your workforce tends to be more into hot-desking and home working, we will teach candidates to assess for the risks associated with that type of working. On the other hand, your staff may be more inclined to stick at a static workstation throughout the day, in which case we’ll change our course content to suit.
To discuss any specific requirements, or to book your course, call 07932 674707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.