Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and Visual Display Units
Display Screen Equipment is used every day and by almost every employee on a regular basis. Some organisations wholly depend on the use of display screen equipment and visual display units. The constant use results in a variety of conditions associated with computer use as well as sitting for the majority of the working day. The H&S Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992 stipulates several conditions that employers must provide to employees in order to provide a comfortable working environment and such equipment.
There are lots of conditions that can be acquired from DSE use and these are both chronic and acute. Unfortunately it can have a severe impact on employee working comfort and even ability to fully function at work. If you have never suffered from such conditions as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, De Quervain's Disease (a type of Tenosynivitus in the thumb area), Cubital Tunnel Syndrome (Inflammation in the elbow), lower back pain, sciatica or vertebral disc problems then it will be difficult to understand the pain and discomfort it causes.
Most organisations use online and interactive programmes to carry out the legally required DSE assessments for employees who use such equipment for the majority of their working day. This is a very easy and controlled method to do the initial assessment and training. The problem is that if any employee raises an issue then a secondary assessment and analysis will be required by a competent professional. This person must have anatomy and physiological experience in order to understand the conditions and impact it could have on their working day. Many employees just get a quick review of the questions they answered and the real problem is not addressed. It never has and never will, stand up well in court.
Many companies will sell you a quick DSE solution programme without putting a qualified person in that position of responsibility. It is very common for safety consultants to be given a quick talk in how to do DSE assessments and then they think they are qualified and still don't know which element to assess first. That is irresponsible and purely negligent. Don't fall into the trap of substandard assessments for staff that needs professional help. You are putting your employees at risk. Do the right thing and get a professional in that knows what they are talking about. Ask them what physiological training they have had? If the answer is vague, send them on their way.