Frequently Asked Question

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1 National Health and Safety Function, ERAS, Human Resources Division Frequently Asked Question Ref: FAQ :013:00 RE: Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Issue date: July 2015 Review date: July 2017 Author(s): NH&SF Information & Advisory Team. Note: This information/advice has been issued in response to frequently asked questions around a specific topic and may not cover all issues arising, should you require more specific advice please contact the Health & Safety Help Desk. The management of any occupational health and safety issue(s) remains the responsibility of local management. Am I a Display Screen Equipment user? As per the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, Chapter 5 of Part 2: Display Screen Equipment a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) user is an employee who; has no choice but to use the DSE to carry out her/his work normally uses the DSE for continuous periods of more than one hour per day If the DSE is generally used by the employee on a daily basis What do I need to do to comply with the Display Screen Equipment Regulations, 2007? The Key requirements are to (for more details please refer to Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Risk assessment Flowchart in this document): Carry out an analysis or risk assessment of employee workstations (as per previous definition above) using the risk assessment checklist available on HseLand (refer to HSE flow chart below) Provide information to employees in relation to measures which have been implemented Provide training to employees in the use of workstations before commencing work with display screen equipment and whenever the organisation of the workstation is modified (see HSELand for online training programme) Perform a further analysis or risk assessment where an employee transfers to a new workstation or significant new work equipment, change of equipment or new technology is introduced to an individual s workstation Ensure that the provision of an appropriate eye and eyesight test is made available to every employee For further information regarding office accommodation aspects not covered in this FAQ please refer to the FAQ on Office Accommodation FAQ:013:00 Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Page 1

2 How do I adjust my chair? Each chair may have a different adjustment mechanisms and it is essential that the user familiarises themselves with those adjustments mechanisms. It is more important that you know how you should be positioned at your workstation and then adjust your seating to support this posture. Please refer to diagram 1 below for more details regarding your seating posture. Diagram 1: Correct Sitting Posture for Computer: What is the safest position to place my hands when using the key board and mouse? It is recommended to place your hand and wrist in the neutral position as per diagram 2 below so as to avoid musculoskeletal issues. Diagram 2: Correct Positioning of hands and wrists when using DSE equipment: FAQ:013:00 Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Page 2

3 Do the regulations apply to laptops? No - A laptop does not have a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor and should not be used for long periods of time. A laptop is not covered by these Regulations due to the fact that under these Regulations the keyboard shall be able to tilt and be seperate from the screen so as to allow the user to find a comfortable working position which avoids fatigue in the arms or hands. A laptop does not have a separate keyboard & should not be used for long periods of time. A risk assessment must be carried out to assess the usage of the laptop & the set up of the temporary laptop workstation. It is recommended that a laptop should be connected to a separate monitor, mouse and keyboard. The workstation can then be assessed to determine whether the workstation meets the requirements detailed in the Display Screen Equipment Regulations. How often should I take change my activity while working with DSE? Employers must plan work so that daily work at DSE s is interrupted periodically by changes in activity, which reduce the work at the screen. Although the Regulations set no frequency for changes of breaks, no single continuous period of work at a screen should, in general, exceed one hour. The flow of work to a DSE user should be designed to allow natural changes of breaks to occur. Alternatively, a change in the pattern of work by combining DSE and non-dse work could be introduced. However, changes in work activity are essential where continuous DSE work, requiring sustained attention is likely to result in fatigue. Ideally, the length of the rest should reflect the intensity of the individual job. However, there are four important points - Changes in the work activity, where they are necessary, should be taken before fatigue sets in The employee should not sit in the same position for long periods and make sure to change posture as often as practicable Short frequent changes in activity are more satisfactory than longer periods of activity change taken occasionally Changes in the work activity should be taken away from the DSE. Other duties may be assigned during this period, provided they are not too intensive Am I entitled to an eye and eyesight test? Yes, every employee who habitually uses a DSE as a significant part of normal work has a right to an appropriate eye and eyesight test which must be made available and paid for by the employer. Please refer to your site specific safety statement or alternatively to your Occupational Health Department for the details of local arrangements. How often should the eye tests occur? Employees have the right to an eye and eyesight test before taking up work if it is habitual work with a DSE as well as at regular intervals thereafter. Additionally, an appropriate eye and eyesight test must be made available to an employee who experiences visual difficulties which may be due to display screen work. For more information please contact your local Occupational Health Department FAQ:013:00 Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Page 3

4 Does my employer have to pay for DSE glasses? Your employer will only have to pay for glasses if the test shows you need special corrective appliances (normally glasses) that are prescribed for the distance the screen is viewed at. If an ordinary prescription is suitable for your DSE work, your employer does not have to pay for your spectacles/glasses. The cost of dealing with more general eye problems which are revealed as a result of the tests and which are not directly related to working with a DSE is a matter for the employee as part of his or her general health care. I have to hot desk; do I have to carry out a workstation assessment every time I use a new desk? It is necessary to ensure that the workstation you are using is not likely to cause you any health risk. You should refer to the training already provided to ensure that your workstation set-up is appropriate, please refer below for training details. In view of this you should, even if you will be spending a large part of your day there, assess that risk. Additional Resource Information: Legislation - The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work, (General Application) Regulations 2007, Chapter 5 of Part 2: Display Screen Equipment FAQ:013:00 Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Page 4

5 DISPLAY SCREEN EQUIPMENT (DSE) RISK ASSESSMENT FLOWCHART Manager to establish the following The Employee has no choice but to use the DSE to carry out their work Employee normally uses the DSE for continuous periods of more than one hour Employee uses DSE generally on a daily basis Yes No No further action required Employee completes the HSELand on line e- learning programme click on Line Manager completes DSE risk assessment checklist with employee mationadvisoryteam/riskforms/ Does the risk assessment identify any remedial steps that require further attention? No Risk Assessment filled for future reference. Yes Continue to monitor Line Manager: Documents issues for follow up and develops an action plan which will include person responsible for the implementation of the actions and the date when envisaged for completion. Should the employee continue to experience difficulties post implementation of the corrective actions the manager may decide to refer the employee to their local Occupation Health Service/Department FAQ:013:00 Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Page 5

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