As technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, we need to ensure that the machines we use to make life easier do not themselves become destructive to our health.
The Health and Safety DSE Regulations 1992 apply to any employers whose workers regularly use Display Screen Equipment as part of their normal working lives – i.e. on a daily basis for period of up to, or exceeding, one hour. While these regulations do not apply to workers who use the equipment for shorter periods of time, it is worthwhile for them to be included in any assessments.
What is DSE?
Display Screen Equipment is any device that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen including computer screens, television screens, laptops, I-pads and tablets and mobile phones.
What are the risks?
In some cases workers may suffer from fatigue, eye-strain, upper limb disorders and even back-ache from over use or improper use of DSE.
How to avoid the risks?
The Health and Safety Executive have some useful advice to avoid the risks involved in use of DSE. This includes:
- Get comfortable – forearms should be horizontal and the user’s eyes should be roughly level with the top of the display screen they use.
- Make sure there is enough space to accommodate documents and other equipment – this can avoid the user having to make awkward neck and eye movements.
- Arrange the desk and screen to make the best of the light available, avoiding glare from windows or other light sources
- Make sure there is space under the desk to allow free leg movement
- Aim to keep wrists straight while typing
- Sit upright and close to the desk to reduce strain on arms and back
- Adjust the brightness and contrast on the screen to suit the light conditions of the room in which you are working
- Make sure the surface of the screen is clear and clean
Employers have a duty to look after the health and welfare of their employees, and providing suitable, safe, comfortable working conditions falls as part of that responsibility. If you or someone you care for has suffered as a result of issues in their workplace, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Contact one of our highly experienced solicitors today, free of charge, for advice and information about making a claim and getting the pay out you deserve.