A quick summary of why you should talk to MESH
In our experience staff are usually unaware of the effects of poor workstation set-up on their health and often disregard aches and pains. Some may get aches and pains in their hands, wrists, arms, neck, shoulders or back, especially after long periods of uninterrupted DSE work. These are usually referred to as work-related upper limb disorders and if not addressed can sometimes lead to more persistent pain or even disabling injuries.
In fact, what many employers ignore is that an estimated two million people suffer from ill health that is thought to be work-related. A significantly high proportion being related to musculoskeletal disorders (e.g. upper limb or back problems). Many of these subsequently turn into claims against the employer through civil actions.
Working with MESH you can be fully assured that the DSE assessments produced will identify the necessary improvements to prevent your staff from developing potentially long-term debilitating (and sometimes financially costly) health problems that would have a negative impact on your business. Our DSE risk assessments will ensure full compliance with the DSE regulations.
MESH Consultants have used our extensive experience in DSE risk assessments to ensure peace of mind for clients in a wide range of industries throughout the UK. .
Why do we need to carry out DSE assessments?
When your staff are regularly using Display Screen Equipment you need to have the confidence that the right equipment is in place and that staff know how to use the equipment in a manner that will not damage their health. Did you know that RSI is a reportable disease under the RIDDOR regulations? Clearly, one of the biggest causes of RSI is working with a badly set up workstation.
Where employees use display screen equipment (DSE) or a visual display unit (VDU) then health risks may develop. Computer workstations or equipment can be associated with neck, shoulder, back or arm pains, fatigue and eyestrain.
These aches and pains are sometimes called upper limb disorders (ULDs) or repetitive strain injuries (RSI). These problems can be avoided by following good practice.
Surveys have found that high proportions of DSE workers report aches, pains or eye discomfort. Many of these conditions do not indicate any serious ill health, but it makes sense to avoid them as far as possible and to prevent the conditions becoming serious long-term health issues. As employers you need to be asking:
- Is there regular use of display screens as a significant part of the work in your workplace?
- Does anyone use a keyboard, mouse or other input device? Are people complaining of discomfort, aches and pains?
The Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations require you to carry out specific risk assessments in which you will need to:
- analyse workstations, and assess and reduce risks;
- ensure workstations meet minimum requirements;
- plan VDU work so that staff have breaks or changes of activity;
- provide eye and eyesight tests for VDU users who request them, and provide spectacles if special ones are needed; and
- provide health and safety training and information for VDU users.
What should a proper DSE assessment provide?
The Regulations were introduced because DSE has become one of the most common types of work equipment and so there is potential to make work more comfortable and productive for organisations by ensuring that staff understand the risks and how to work safely.
In order to comply with the Display Screen Equipment regulations the assessment process needs to provide the employer with confidence that the assessment will help them to manage health and safety risks effectively.
At MESH we have found that not all assessments will provide this level of assurance as assessors are often following a tick box approach (often working within a cut-price DSE assessment service). This does not take into account the issues of the person that they are assessing and therefore will not be addressing the underlying risks that may affect their long term health.
How does the approach MESH takes to DSE assessments differ from many other providers?
We ensure that we allocate sufficient time to not only assess the risks to each individual but to make sure that they are properly trained to understand how they can manage their own long term health. This approach usually takes around 30 minutes per assessment and can be considerably longer in the more complex assessments (e.g. where staff are suffering with long term health problems).
These assessments are then followed up with a detailed personal assessment report identifying improvements that have been implemented and further action needed. In many instances the outcome may just be that the individual needs to adjust the way they work.
Where equipment changes are required then we will identify what type of chair, keyboard etc. is appropriate for the individuals needs and, if requested, identify cost-effective suppliers.
You may find other companies providing a DSE assessment service that appears cheaper than MESH but remember to ask what you will be getting. Otherwise it's your employees long term health that may be at risk from an inadequate assessment; which could result in additional costs from lost time and future employee claims.
If you have received a DSE assessment quote that seems to be competitive, but you're unsure whether the assessments are going to fully protect your company and your staff, then please do ask our opinion on the quote you've received and we'll be happy to advise you for free, without obligation to use our services.