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Display Screen Equipment (DSE) – is it a legal requirement?

It is a common fact that our bodies are not designed to sit in the same position all day.  It does not matter about the job a person has, balance and posture play an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.  Sitting up straight may seem like a simple instruction from your primary school days, but good posture is serious health business.

However, the main cause for working days lost in 2013 was musculo-skeletal conditions, leading to 31 million days of work lost.  This is inevitably due to poor postures throughout workplaces in the UK in particular, within the office environment where millions of us sit for 8 or more hours a day at our desks.

The Government has long been aware about the damage to the economy as a result of poor postures and therefore, compliance with The DSE Regulations is MANDATORY. The Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations were introduced in 1992 and, they were updated and amended in 2002 as Laptop usage increased throughout workplaces.  There is much speculation throughout the Health and Safety world that there will be a further update shortly due to Smart Phone and Tablet usage.

So how can you making sure that your office complies with the Health and Safety
(Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992?  Firstly, you should decide who is to be responsible for the following steps and set a timetable for the steps below,

Step 1. Decide who is covered by the Regulations
Step 2. Train all of your users and assessors
Step 3. Assess all workstations and reduce the risks
Step 4. Make sure workstations and equipment comply with minimum requirements
Step 5. Plan changes of activity or breaks for users
Step 6. Provide eye tests (this is another legal requirement) and any necessary spectacles for VDU work
Step 7. Tell users what you have done

It is worth noting that as well as complying with the Law of the land you are benefitting your Organisation because effective DSE management ensures your employee’s wellbeing – this will lead to a more effective and productive workforce.

Other benefits to your business will include …

Prevention of injuries associated with display screen equipment use

A reduction of staff absence and potential litigation

A reduction of lost working days and employee error

Potential reduction in insurance premiums as a result of fewer claims

Healthy Performance can take you through all of the necessary steps in ensuring that you’re full compliant with the DSE regulations.  You can find out further information on our Workstation Assessments here.

Wayne Campbell, the Managing Director at Healthy Performance will be presenting a workshop based on fitness, posture and good balance.  This presentation is part of the Good Posture & Ergonomics in the Workplace event held by Corporate Health.


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