The Health and Safety Executive in the UK states that it is a legal requirement for all employees who use computers, laptops, mobile devices and tablet computers for a continuous period of time to undertake DSE training. Individuals who fall into this category are referred to as users of DSE. Typically this would involve people who work in an office such as administrators, marketers and IT professionals to name a few.
If an employer fails to provide DSE training, this is a breach of regulations which means that an employer can face prosecution and a fine. Providing this training also helps to protect employers from suffering liability claims from employees. As an example an employee may decide to pursue a claim for back pain because of their working position.
Employees find that there are multiple benefits to participating in training for Display Screen Equipment such as reduced problems with vision and posture and fewer reports of stress or fatigue. When employees are more comfortable within their work environment, both employee satisfaction and productivity increase.
What is DSE Training?
As employers need to carry out display screen equipment training, it is important to understand what this is. DSE training should outline the best ways to use equipment and the most effective way to use workstations. Training will include:
How to set up and maintain a comfortable workstation for desktops and laptops
Recommended time lengths for continuous use of these devices
The regulations state that all staff who use DSE should complete the training. In addition, refresher training should be carried out whenever there is a change in the workstation, the employee has been on a long period of absence or if the place of work changes
The DSE regulations require employers to undertake a number of things:
- Evaluate workstations and users who work with DSE to assess and reduce risk
- Verify that workstations meet the minimum requirements and suitable controls are in place
- Establish an effective plan so that the work day includes breaks or activity changes
- Provide employees with eye tests when requested
- Deliver DSE training
- Monitor the working environment and review DSE policy when there is a change in staff, workstations or workplaces
At the very least, employers should undertake an assessment for each employee where DSE appears in their role. A DSE self assessment can be carried out to encourage staff to take ownership of their own health and safety. Employees should be able to assess their own workstations which can be achieved by equipping them with the necessary knowledge and skills during training in the use of DSE.
Poorly designed workstations, difficult working practices, repetitive activities and health limitations can result in sickness absence and ill health. As a result employers need to be aware of these risks and employees need to understand how they can adapt their workstations to reduce stress and fatigue and improve posture. Only through suitable DSE training can this be achieved.