DSE and Home Working
The Health and Safety Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations have been in place since 1992 and employers are required to protect their employees from any risks associated with DSE whether desktop computers, or mobile laptop users.
New technology poses new hazards and can place users at risk of general musculo-skeletal problems, upper limb disorders, fatigue, headaches, eye strain or strain.
There is a range of practical and technological solutions to reduce these risks. Peritus Health Management’s specialist occupational health advisers are competent at assessing an individual’s musculo-skeletal disorders, ensuring well-designed workstations and determining the corrective action that can be taken to address the underlying cause, promote rehabilitation and prevent further problems.
Peritus Health Management can deliver engaging and instructive Display Screen Equipment Users training for employees to promote postural awareness and good workstation setup and use. We can then be available to support your employees as they set-up their workstations and complete the self-assessment checklists. For more information on our Display Screen Equipment Champion Training, click here.
Simple Short Term Solutions for COVID 19 Home Workers
Here’s a bit of a Blue Peter approach to making it at home!
1. ensure you are at the right height for the table you are using: your wrists should be straight and your elbows at a 90 degree angle when your fingers are on the middle row of the keyboard. Your keyboard should be separate to the computer so laptop users, please arrange to pick up your keyboard and mouse.
too low? – use a pillow or cushions to raise you up to the right height.
too high? – can you find a higher table or a lower chair?
2. ensure that your lumbar spine is supported by the chair back. Sit on the chair properly and if there is no lumber support, roll up a hand towel and position it is the small of your back. Make it a more permanent fixture so it doesn’t keep falling out, but without damaging your nice dining room chairs by stuffing the rolled-up towel into the leg of a pair of tights and tie it in place.
3. make sure the top of the screen is not above eye height.
too low? – use a book, box, or pack or toilet rolls if you were lucky enough to have some.
too high? – reduce the height of your monitor stand or remove it altogether and replace it with something of the correct height (see above)
4. make sure that your monitor is free from reflections and glare – try sitting at 90 degrees to the window where possible so that the light isn’t impacting on the screen. If the lighting is causing problem, use side lighting or lamps that you can strategically position instead.
5. Source documents should be placed between the keyboard and screen so that your head is not twisted to the side of you. To make a temporary document holder:
a. use an empty lever arch folder
b. cut the small side edge from an old cereal package and create a document rest by sticking the front to the back and bending the overlapping edge upwards
6. Make sure your elbow is at your waist when your hand is relaxed on your mouse. The movement for your mouse should come from your shoulder and not your wrist. This reduces the end of range movements in your wrist and reduces strain in this area.
7. Do regular neck, shoulder, arm, wrist and back stretches to prevent muscle fatigue.
Published date: 14th April 2020
Last revision: 17th August 2020