Health & Safety
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 make the following requests, that all employees who use their pc, laptop, smartphone and tablets for any time over an hour on a daily basis, must receive a risk assessment by their employer.
A DSE Risk Assessment includes the employees’ workstation, i.e. the pc, laptop smartphone or tablet, the chair, the keyboard, including the mouse if it’s used, the screen, and the immediate environment. This includes the light (e.g. if there is a glare that could irritate, can it be defused or if the sun shines brightly through the window could blinds be fitted, or can the workstation be moved to a different position). The temperature and the air, plus noise. Many employees sit in a busy office or department and simple changes, like an acoustic noise barrier, can make all the difference to their wellbeing.
A DSE Risk Assessment should be re-visited on a regular basis (every 2-3 years), but if major changes have taken place i.e. move to a new office, a new risk assessment must be carried. According to the DSE regulations, an employer must provide a DSE Risk Assessment in order to eliminate risks and highlight to employees that regular breaks need to be taken. Breaks can mean getting up from your workstation and doing another job for a few minutes or simply stand up and walk about for a few seconds. It should also highlight that employees, when focusing on the screen, keep reminding themselves to every once in a while look away from the screen and focus on a distant point. Also not to stop
blinking, as when concentrating on the screen we tend to reduce blinking from 20 times to just five times per minute. This is to give the eye a bit of a break, reduce strain and possible dryness of the eye.
It should further highlight to the employee, that their employer must provide an eye test, if they ask for one. Any findings should be discussed with the DSE User, and solutions must be found in order to prevent any discomfort, such as pain in the neck, shoulders, back, arm, wrists and hand, which is also known
as Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs) and to avoid eye strain.