Thursday, 20 September 2012 16:39

DSE it worth the risk?

Using a computer has become one of the most natural things that we all do every day; switch on, sit down and away we go, normally for hours at a time. Even our children can navigate their way round the net far too easily, and often quicker than us and even put PowerPoint presentations together to use in school. So why is it such a big deal to check our work areas are safe to use from time to time? A DSE Assessment takes just a few minutes and they are really important; not only for checking that everything we are using suits our needs but also to remind us how we should be sitting and placing our equipment and documents. If we all get used to doing them more naturally we can also pass this understanding onto our children at home so that sitting well also becomes more natural to them.

DSE Assessments are an important part of any companies Health & Safety policy if the company has five or more employees and one or all of them use a computer. The DSE legislation is in place to protect both the employer and the employee and assessments should be carried out at the following times;

On all new members of staff

If there is a change of equipment

They move desks

They are experiencing discomfort

If the employee requests one

And then every year or so thereafter

Because we are all different shapes and sizes and we have different needs if they are not done discomfort and frustration can quickly arise and employees will feel disgruntled and quite possibly stressed, which in turn is likely to lead to time off work. Very expensive to any business in many ways and quite easily avoided.

Here at DSE Solutions we carry out DSE Assessments for many companies and the most common problem we find is staff members who are 6ft + sitting at the same height desks as employees that are 5ft. This creates all sorts of problems, particularly to the taller users who are squeezing themselves under their desks with their chairs in a very low position. This put pressure on the lower and upper back causing pain and a general feeling of fatigue. By simply raising the desk by a few centimetres or inches the chair can be moved up in height, the legs have more room and the problem is rectified.

So is it really worth the risk to ignore employee needs? It will cost much more in the long run not to do DSE Assessments and if a company has a health & safety audit they will be expected to have them completed and stored in their files with any necessary actions completed. A word of warning, these audits are much better for all concerned to avoid the risk!


DSE LegislationDSE Assessment