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A Detailed Guide on DSE Assessment for Employers

A Detailed Guide on DSE Assessment for Employers

DSE or Display Screen Equipment refers to any device with a display screen and on which people can view any form of visual content. Although DSE now has become synonymous with computer or laptop screens, it includes even the conventional display types such as TV screens, CCTV screens, Projector screens, and even smartphones. With emerging technology, Display Screen Equipment now includes tablet screens, interactive whiteboard screens, and all types of handheld devices.

DSE assessment is an essential requirement now for all workplaces and employers. As per the Health and Safety Regulations 1992, there is a legal requirement for all employers to conduct a DSE assessment if their employees are using DSE for more than one hour per day. Any employer with more than five employees needs to go for a DSE assessment. Before going into a detailed analysis of what is a DSE assessment, let us first understand that under what grounds the DSE assessment has become a legal requirement.

With increasing reliance on technology, our working style has shifted to sitting for long hours in front of the computer screen. The screen size and configuration of our computers might have changed, but what remains constant is the strain that the computer screen causes on our eyes and body. Working for long hours in front of the computer can lead to body aches, muscle aches, eye problems, and fatigue. Employees can start developing chronic diseases impacting their wellbeing and productivity. Lately, with the pandemic disrupting all our lives and working style, work has transitioned to home, and we have resorted to our couch/beds/tables as our workplace. In such a scenario, DSE assessment becomes all the more necessary. Employers need to understand that a DSE assessment, at least once every year, will not only keep their employees physically fit but also productive.

DSE assessment will help employers to fix faulty screen equipment, thus ensuring that employees can work comfortably. It will also enhance the employee morale

It will help to reduce the sickness absence and drive up productivity in the organization.

Sitting in front of the computer screen for long hours leads to many ergonomic problems such as upper limb disorders, back and neck pain, etc. Employees charge these claims to the company. An ergonomic workstation assessment will eliminate the risk of health issues, thus reducing the number of claims. Moreover, it also leads to a reduction in administrative costs.

Today, all employers are trying to ramp up their efforts to create an inclusive workplace that cares about employee wellbeing. Carrying out frequent DSE assessments is one such good practice that puts the organization in a positive light

When it comes to DSE assessments, not just the screen equipment but the entire workstation comes under check. Thus, along with laptops and computers, the keyboard, mouse, chair, and table will also be assessed to check if they are ergonomically fit. A DSE assessment also includes checking the lighting, ventilation, temperature, humidity around the workstation. Some other checks that a DSE assessment includes are the following:

a)Background noise or any other distractions in the work environment

b)The workstation should have enough legroom so that employees can easily change their postures

c)Software check to ensure that it is appropriate for the job

d)The workstation should have ample space to arrange documents and other equipment

e)Check if a Footrest is needed

f)Workload check also comes under DSE. It helps in ascertaining the time the employee spends sitting at the workstation and if he/she has the time or ability to get up

g)Employees can raise any burning issues or questions they have concerning their workstation.

All these factors included in DSE will help to discover the risk elements and what measures the employers can take to ensure better productivity.

After conducting the DSE assessment, employers should review the results and take steps to mitigate the issues. In the present Covid scenario, employers can provide productivity expenses to encourage employers to set up an ergonomically sound workstation at home. But the most effective way to control DSE-related risks is through staff training. Once employees are aware of DSE risks and how to mitigate them, employee wellbeing and productivity is bound to increase. The DSE training should include the following:

1)Educating employees on how to set up their workstation (adjusting furniture position, organizing documents, keeping computers at the right spot, ensuring proper lighting, cleaning mouse and screen frequently)

2)Employees should be encouraged to divide their workload in such a manner that they can get up from their workstation in intervals

3)Employees should be made aware of all DSE-related symptoms

4)Employers need to foster an open culture wherein employees can freely voice their concerns about DSE-related issues

Thus, our modern workplaces, be it at home or in offices, needs to go through DSE assessment frequently and be compliant with it.

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