Our University is required by law to ensure that staff who use Display Screen Equipment (DSE) are trained in their safe use and have their workstation assessed for risk to their health.
Your head of department, section or business unit is responsible for health and safety in your area and line managers are responsible for ensuring DSE assessments are carried out, monitored and reviewed for their staff who use computers and other display screen equipment.
As a DSE Facilitator your role is to assist managers by co-ordinating the assessment process and assisting staff to get equipment or further help if their DSE assessment identifies problems.
If you would like assistance or guidance on how to manage DSE self-assessment records contact HSAS.
What you need to do
- Keep a check of who has completed the online computer essentials course and a DSE assessment.
- Show DSE users how to adjust their chair for comfort.
- Check that shared workstations (eg hot desks) comply with part B of the DSE assessment.
- Review assessments with employees and help them to identify what actions are needed.
- Seek advice from the Health and Safety Advisory Service for more complex problems.
- Keep the relevant manager informed of results of DSE assessments on their staff and advise them if an Occupational Health referral is needed.
- Review DSE assessments with outstanding actions until they are resolved.
- Make sure DSE assessments are reviewed following significant changes.
- Check that employees review their assessment following the annual reminder (issued in the Spring Term).
The need to make adjustments to a work station can arise at any time and can involve small changes to a desk layout or more substantial adjustments to a work area. Individuals who use DSE equipment may suffer short-term injuries or long-term medical conditions that change over time.
Your role as a DSE Facilitator is to help individuals change the setup of their workstation to reduce and prevent discomfort from musculoskeletal injuries, muscle or joint problems from DSE work. Each DSE case will be different, some may require a minor adjustment whereas others may require specialist equipment. It is highly recommended that you attend the DSE facilitator training course to obtain the knowledge and resources needed to perform DSE assessments.
DSE facilitators work closely with the line manager of the individual affected and will be supported by the HSAS and the Occupational Health Service when necessary.
The process for DSE assessment and intervention at the University compromises three levels:
- Level 1 DSE self-assessment form - managed and administered within the department/section by the DSE facilitator.
- Level 2 assessment - carried out by the DSE facilitator when issues have been noted on a DSE self-assessment form. Assistance from HSAS can be provided if required.
- Level 3 assessment - conducted by the University’s Occupational Health Service following a management referral.
Conducting a level 2 DSE Facilitator checklist assessment
If a problem has been recorded in an individual’s DSE self-assessment (section A or B), a level 2 assessment is conducted so the individual’s situation can be assessed and the appropriate solution can be found to meet their needs. A level 2 assessment can also accompany a management referral to Occupational Health if the adjustments required can't be provided by a DSE Facilitator.
DSE users are entitled to regular eye and eyesight tests. Eye tests are available through the University’s Occupational Health Service.
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)
Consideration must be given on the ability of individual's to escape during a fire or fire alarm activation. Short-term injuries or long-term disability will affect the speed and ease of evacuation. If the mobility of an individual is affected by an injury or illness you will need to refer to the University’s guidance on Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans.
Ergonomic equipment, furniture and software
Trial equipment for short-term loan
A small stock of ergonomic equipment is held by the HSAS and Occupational Health Service that can be used on a trial basis before ergonomic equipment is procured. The trail can last up to three weeks after which a permanent solution can be procured from IT Purchasing or from approved suppliers. Contact HSAS or Occupational Health to arrange a short-term loan.
Replacing chairs and instruction manual
Obtaining IT ergonomic equipment
If ergonomic equipment is required please refer to the flowchart on obtaining non-chair items (.pdf).
A useful, free downloadable tool is available from Workrave, which assists in the prevention of work-related upper limb disorders. The programme frequently alerts users to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and can assist you with your daily DSE management.
The DSE facilitator should measure the desk height and if a small adjustment (up to 5cm) is required a request to install desk risers can be made to the EMS Helpdesk (a cost-code will be required).
DSE referrals to Occupational Health
Many existing medical conditions can be managed without the need for specialist occupational health advice. Manager referral or further advice from the University’s Occupational Health Service should be considered in the following circumstances:
- when the user has equipment needs that can’t be met from the provision of the standard stock chairs or range of equipment
- if the user has complex needs, eg because of a disability
- if the problem doesn’t resolve following a Level 2 assessment/intervention– contact the Occupational Health Service for advice on whether to recommend referral
If you think an occupational health referral is needed you will need to advise the individual's line manager and ask them to complete the referral form. Guidance on making a management referral is available from the University’s Occupational Health Service.