Increase your Workplace Efficiency
With a DSE Assessment
It would astound you to know how much money UK businesses lose due to sickness-related illnesses. In 2013 alone, 131 million days were lost because of sickness absences, an average of 4.4 days per worker. Furthermore, in 2011/12 the cost of accidents, injuries and ill health to the UK economy was £13.8bn! Of this figure, work-related ill health cost £8.4bn. Each year, 35% lost work days across the UK are lost due to Musculoskeletal issues (MSK); that’s a mammoth 31 Million lost day events each year. Based on an average wage of £74.19 per day, MSK costs employers £2.3billion per annum. This isn’t penny change we’re talking about here!
It should never be underestimated just how much time, effort and capital is lost due to preventable causes. From the biggest to the smallest, companies continue to be adversely affected by something that could just as easily be avoided. Whether you are a retail wholesaler employing thousands of factory workers or a financial enterprise depending on your staff’s knowledge and expertise within the financial markets, all companies are dependent upon a fit, healthy and active workforce. It could make all the difference in the world when sealing that much sought after deal with a future partner or getting a shipment of the latest, hyped consumer goods out on time. If you don’t have these employees to hand for the important moments and decisions however, things may take a different turn to the irreparable detriment of your business and its operations.
Something all companies should implement is the use of a Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessment. Display screen equipment is any device or piece of equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process involved. This includes everything from laptops to desktop computers as well as devices used as part of emerging technologies like tablets, touch screens and other similar devices. The difference such technology has wrought on the means of doing business has been nothing short of revolutionary. Where before meetings could only be conducted in person, now they can be conducted via video conference call from opposite sides of the planet. Orders are now processed at the touch of a button and modified just as quickly. With the elation and empowerment of new technologies also comes warnings however. Neck, shoulder, back or arm pain, as well as fatigue and eyestrain are common ailments associated with computer workstations and related equipment. They are commonly called upper limb disorders (ULDs) and, although they don’t indicate serious ill health, are best avoided to ensure an optimal functioning workplace.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 aim to protect the health of people who work with DSE. It was introduced because DSE has become one of the most common kinds of work equipment. DSE work is generally not risky but if the proper workplace procedures are not implemented, ULDs are a very real possibility. For all of the major components associated with DSE, the following precautions are recommended:
- Forearms should be approximately horizontal and the user’s eyes should be the same height as the top of the screen
- Make sure there is enough work space to accommodate all documents or other equipment. A document holder may help avoid awkward neck and eye movements
- Arrange the desk and screen to avoid glare, or bright reflections. This is often easiest if the screen is not directly facing windows or bright lights
- Adjust curtains or blinds to prevent intrusive light
- Make sure there is space under the desk to move legs
- Avoid excess pressure from the edge of seats on the backs of legs and knees. A footrest may be helpful, particularly for smaller users
- A space in front of the keyboard can help you rest your hands and wrists when not keying
- Try to keep wrists straight when keying
- Good keyboard technique is important – you can do this by keeping a soft touch on the keys and not overstretching the fingers
- Position the mouse within easy reach, so it can be used with a straight wrist
- Sit upright and close to the desk to reduce working with the mouse arm stretched
- Move the keyboard out of the way if it is not being used
- Support the forearm on the desk, and don’t grip the mouse too tightly
- Rest fingers lightly on the buttons and do not press them hard
These are just some of the easy-to-understand, practical methods that can be used to ensure your employees thrive in a safe, comfortable working environment. It could make all the difference between a thriving, content and efficient workplace to one which is demotivated and unhappy.
For more information about what we can do to help with the running of your workplace and help you prevent unnecessary costs, contact us on 0800 612 7111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable and experienced experts now.
Also published on Medium.