Workstation DSE assessments

What will an on-site workstation assessment include?

During the assessment, adjustments to the workstation and equipment (screen, mouse, keyboard and work desk and chair) are made, taking into consideration an individual’s tasks and preferences.

Seating

Assessment and adjustments or recommendations on replacements.

Equipment

Assessment and adjustment of the placement of monitor(s), keyboard, mouse and other equipment.

Desk

Assessment and where possible adjustment of desk setup, advice on height-adjustable desks (if applicable).

Immediate help & training

On-the-spot changes of layout, training on good posture.

Reports

Report on findings and recommendations.

Advice on device usage

PCs, laptops (DSE), smartphone and tablet use advice (DSE), including reading and typing.

The Health and Safety Executive Working with Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations require DSE assessments to be conducted for all significant users covering any device that has a graphic, alphanumeric or plasma display screen, including:

  • Desktop computers
  • Laptops
  • Television screens
  • Video monitors

Not included are handheld devices, tablets or smart phones.

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs)

Prolonged use of work equipment can lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders such as neck, shoulder, back and arm pain, along with stress, fatigue and temporary eye strain.

WRMSDs are associated with work patterns that include:

  • Fixed or constrained body positions
  • Continual repetition of movements
  • Force concentrated on small parts of the body, such as the hand or wrist
  • A pace of work that does not allow sufficient recovery between movements

According to the Health and Safety Executive 2016/17 statistics, 507,000 workers out of a total of 1,299,000 work-related illnesses reported, suffered new or long-standing musculoskeletal disorders (45% upper limbs or neck, 38% back and 17 % lower limbs). 1.8 million working days were lost, with an average of 21.1 days lost for each case.

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Our consultant

Sabine Nave BSc (Hons), a senior musculoskeletal physiotherapist at W6 Physiotherapy, carries out the workstation assessments.

She has worked part-time in occupational health in the NHS and for a private company, providing in-house physiotherapy for employees. She worked alongside occupational health physicians and nurses looking after the of employees, enhancing their health, wellbeing and performance. She added DSE and workstation risk assessments to her practice to improve the safety of employees and prevent sickness absence.

She has 12 years of physiotherapy experience, and is a member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics (ACPOHE), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP). She has office ergonomics DSE training, as well as MSc-level training in Advanced Neuromusculoskeletal Physiotherapy.

An ACPOHE Occupational Physiotherapist can typically provide a return on investment for an organisation of £3 for every £1 spent. Therefore, there are significant benefits to both employers and employees when utilising the services of an occupational physiotherapist.

Legislation

Health and Safety Law and Regulations
Health and Safety (DSE) Risk Assessment
Equality Act 2010
(Umbrella Act: Health and Safety at Work Act (1974))
European Health and Safety Legislation (1992 “Six Pack”)

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs
  • The Workplace(Health and Safety and Welfare) Regs
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regs
  • The Manual Handling Operations Regs
  • The Personal Protective Equipment Regs
  • The Health and Safety (Display screen equipment) Regs
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