With the modern way of working, many of us are sat at a desk looking at a computer for sometimes hours at a time, and most of us don't realise that we're actually set up incorrectly and are doing more harm than good.
What is Display Screen Equipment (DSE)? According to HSE- "DSE are devices or equipment that have an alphanumeric or graphic display screen and includes display screens, laptops, touch screens and other similar devices. " which means most of us are exposed to DSE on a daily basis.
What are the risks?
There are a fair few risks when it comes to improper use of DSE and incorrect set up of desks/workstations/etc. Are you experiencing fatigue, eyestrain, headaches? This could be down to improper use of DSE, the main risks are-
- Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
- Upper limb disorders (ULDs)
How to combat the risks?
There are a few things you can do to make sure you avoid any of the negative effects of improper DSE use or uncomfortable workstation set up. A brief workstation assessment should be carried out to determine if -
- Your monitor is placed correctly on the desk, it is adjustable, does not glare and the text is not a struggle to read
- Your chair fits comfortably under the desk, supports your lower back and allows your feet to sit comfortably flat on the floor or on a footrest
- Your mouse is properly positioned and fits comfortably in your hand
- Your keyboard is properly positioned and your wrists are supported, you are not strained
- If using laptops, they are set on a comfortable surface with similar rules to the above
- Take short, frequent breaks to reduce the time looking at the screen
- Stretch frequently
- Try and move around after long period of sitting
- Get your eyes tested regularly
If you are concerned about DSE equipment or need help with assessing your workstation, make sure to ask your health and safety colleagues to help with your assessment. As we like to say here at UnitBirwelco - Work safe, stay safe!