Some working environments might seem more benign than others, but they’re certainly not without risk. Working on a construction site is very different to being sat at a computer in an office, but there are still potential hazards that workers must be made aware of.
The human body wasn’t designed to be hunched over a computer for eight hours a day. If people don’t set their desk and workstation up correctly they could be setting themselves up for trouble longer term. It’s important to take regular breaks too. The repetitive motion of typing and staring at the screen all day can store up problems if people don’t manage themselves properly.
Health and safety regulations are there for very good reason. In the case of safe use of computer workstations it’s the Display Screen Equipment regulations or DSE for short that employers must observe. Firstly these require that all people who spend the majority of their day working with a computer undertake some form of DSE training. This could be a classroom session or an online course. They need a thorough grounding in the risks involved and advice on how to avoid them.
In addition to training it’s vital to carry out a regular DSE assessment on each member of staff. When they start, when they change desks and perhaps once a year too. The assessment will highlight any issues they may be experiencing and give employers the chance to resolve them. This can prevent people developing long term health problems, which ruin their quality of life and keep them off work for months at a time.
Non-compliance with these regulations can result in compensation claims and hefty fines. Don’t cut corners with DSE. A thorough programme of training and risk assessment achieves compliance, but has other business benefits. Comfortable workers are happier, healthier and productive.