DSE set up for staff using laptops in the workplace
In the words of Bob Dylan ‘The times they are a changing’ … technology has come a long way and workplaces have moved on. The days of staff sitting at a desk working from a static display screen 9-5pm are fast disappearing; more and more companies allow (even encourage) their staff to work remotely using modern laptops – remote and flexible working has been shown to increase feelings of autonomy, reduce sickness absence levels and improve productivity.
However, there are health risks involved for staff who spend the majority of their working day working from a laptop that is incorrectly set up according to the DSE Regulations (1992). 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. The causes may not always be obvious and we see many workers who are completely oblivious to the harms their work set-up is causing to them.
- do a DSE workstation assessment
- reduce risks, including making sure workers take breaks from DSE work or do something different
- provide an eye test if a worker asks for one
- provide training and information for workers
Free information can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/
Employers who supply their staff with laptops should also supply their staff with the correct equipment to meet the regulations this could include a screen raiser to ensure that the screen is at the correct height, separate keyboard so staff have support for their forearms and wrists whilst typing, and a separate mouse is available to avoid over stretching a causing potential neck arm and back problems.
Keeping people safe at work (even if that means when they are working away from their desk or at home) is a duty of all employers. A Workplace Wellbeing Charter accreditation provides an overall assessment of the existing health and safety provision within any workplace. Benchmarking against the standards is useful for workplaces to ensure compliance with legislation and that appropriate policies, risk assessments, training, reporting and governance structures are in place. The Workplace Wellbeing Charter encourages organisations to look at workplace culture and to maximise opportunities, information, and support for all staff to be healthy and happy at work.
Follow us on social media for tips, case studies & information on what it takes to be an accredited organisation or take our FREE self assessment at www.wellbeingcharter.org.uk to see how your workplace would fare!