Since March, the world has seen the biggest flexible working experience we’ve ever seen. Many businesses are looking to incorporate an element of hybrid flexibility into future working patterns meaning we won’t be packing our home offices up for the foreseeable.
Such significant changes in the way businesses and employees are working will inevitably have a significant effect on changes to rules, regulations, and processes, which will need to be altered to better reflect new working practices. Which is why, over the last few months, you may have heard a lot more talk about “DSE workstation risk assessments”. But what are they? And do you need to do one for your employees?
What is DSE and what is the purpose of the assessment?
DSE stands for Display Screen Equipment, meaning any device with a display screen. A DSE assessment is a form of risk assessment carried out by employers to ensure their displays are set up correctly and are suitable for the task in hand. Unfortunately a large number of employees in the UK are not in a position where they have either the space or the correct equipment.
Interim results from research conducted by the UK Institute for Employment Studies indicates that there have been a significant increase musculoskeletal complaints. More than half of the survey respondents reported new aches and pains, especially in the neck (58 per cent), shoulder (56 per cent) and back (55 per cent), compared to their normal physical condition.
Employer’s looking to extend may start running into issues with complaints and lawsuits if the correct processes are not put in place.
Is a DSE assessment a legal requirement?
Yes, it is. UK Health & Safety laws require all employers to carry out a DSE workstation risk assessment for all employees either office-based or home workers.
When should you carry out a risk assessment?
Any time a a new workstation is set up, a DSE assessment should be carried out. For temporary work-from-homer’s, a short self-assessment checklist should be sufficient. for longer-term, permanent employees working remotely or from home a thorough DSE assessment should be carried out as the risks of bad habits are higher and the obligation on the employer
What are the benefits of being DSE compliant?
There are many benefits of businesses who have stringent work from home and DSE processes in place. Here are a few –
- Fewer MSD’s
- Lower absenteeism
- Higher productivity
- Lower staff turnover
What are the risks as an employer?
With complaints on the rise, we’re predicting a rise in claims and lawsuits in the future off of the back of poor processes and a lack of HR and health reviews for employees working remotely.
Before completing the process, it’s important to get up to speed with the legislation in the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992. For more information visit the HSE government website.