Many health and safety issues occur when employees are sitting at their desks. As an employer, you have a legal duty to comply with the Display Screen Regulations. A workstation that falls below these standards can result in certain health problems. These medical issues include repetitive strain injuries, back aches and pains, stress, headaches, fatigue and eye strain.
If you don’t take steps to comply with these regulations, employees could take legal action against you. You may wish to visit this website for more information on this.
The regulations require employers to take several actions in order to ensure their employees’ workstations are compliant. These rules can be difficult to digest, especially if you are a new business. To make it easier for employers to comply, this post will summarise their main responsibilities in relation to workstation health and safety.
You will need to provide training for employees who will handle workstation assessments (discussed further below). These employees will need to be able to identify potential risks at workstations and identify any practices that are potentially hazardous.
Arrange for workstation assessments
Every employee who uses display screen equipment as a significant part of their work must have their workstation assessed. The Health and Safety Executive provide template checklists for this purpose. The trained assessors should carry these checks out and take action to reduce risks. Whenever there is a significant change to an employee’s workstation, for example, a new computer is installed, a new assessment should be carried out.
There is only so much that an assessor can do. A lot of the work in reducing health and safety concerns must come from the employee who is using the workstation. It is important to provide training and ongoing information for employees. This is so that they understand how to use the equipment safely. Users should also be encouraged to fill out the assessment checklist. This will allow you to retrieve more reliable and realistic information on the workstation.
Comply with basic requirements
There are a number of basic requirements that all workstations and equipment must comply with. (These standards are detailed in the Schedule to the Display Screen Regulations). The minimum requirements include the use of equipment that can be easily adjusted depending on the needs of the user.
Create a policy on breaks and changes in activity
Extended periods of work spent at visual display unit (VDU) workstations can lead to health and safety issues. The daily work routines of employees should be taken into account. Long VDU spells should be broken up with other work activities (like printing, phoning and meetings). Where this is not possible, regular breaks should be taken.
Complying with the legal regulations on workstation health and safety can seem like a daunting task at first. However, if you follow the guides and use the resources available to you, like workstation assessment checklists, it will make it easier. It’s important to take the necessary actions to comply with the law if you wish to avoid injuries and potential legal action.
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