All employers must protect staff from the health risks of working with display screen equipment (DSE).
The HSE has provided guidance featuring a step-by-step guide to working safely with DSE and covers a range of topics, from workstations and assessments to eyesight testing.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN WITH INCORRECT USE OF DSE:
Incorrect use of DSE or poorly designed workstations or work environments can lead to pain in necks, shoulders, backs, arms, wrists, and hands, as well as fatigue and eye strain.
In addition, the HSE also have guidance on what you and your staff need to know about working with DSE from home.
WORKING WITH DISPLAY SCREEN EQUIPMENT AT HOME:
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations can apply to staff who:
- work at home on a permanent or long-term basis
- routinely split their time between their workplace and home (sometimes called hybrid working)
Your staff are display screen equipment (DSE) users if they work on DSE daily, for continuous periods of an hour or more. If you aren’t sure, you can check here if the DSE regulations apply to your staff.
The regulations don’t apply to staff who use DSE occasionally or only for short periods of time at home.
DSE RISK ASSESSMENT
Where the regulations do apply, you should carry out a DSE assessment for individual staff. In most cases you do not need to visit them to carry out the assessment, unless you decide there is a need to do so. Your staff may complete a self-assessment provided they have been given suitable training, for example by explaining how to use an ergonomic checklist or self-assessment tool.
Where staff use DSE in the home and office, the assessment should cover both situations.
Make sure those working at home can achieve a comfortable, sustainable posture. They may not need office furniture or equipment at home to achieve this. But you should check if their own equipment is suitable.
MANAGING THE RISKS
Make sure that you can implement the findings of your assessments for your staff using DSE at home.
Reduce the risks identified by your assessment so far as reasonably practicable. This means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the real risk in terms of money, time or trouble.
Where your DSE workstation assessment indicates you need to take some action, for example providing a piece of DSE equipment, your staff cannot be charged for this.
Keep your DSE arrangements under review, particularly if there have been significant changes.
Check if your existing control measures are sufficient or whether additional steps are needed, for example where your staff report aches, pains or discomfort.
Additional DSE equipment needs
Use your assessment to decide if people need any additional equipment when working at home.
Alongside information provided by the worker, you may need to ask for competent advice. For example, from:
- a suitably trained DSE assessor
- suitable occupational health professional
You should meet additional individual needs so far as reasonably practicable.
You must provide staff with training in the use of their workstation and DSE equipment. This should include advice on achieving good posture, and on good working practices.