Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Policy

Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Policy
Display Screen
   (DSE) Policy
Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Policy
Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

       Version:                        v2.0
       Ratified by:                    Operational Management Executive Committee
       Date ratified:                  26.07.2013
       Name and Title of               Steve Duncan – Estates & Facilities Management
       originator/author(s):           Lead
       Name of responsible Director:   Lee Whitehead – Director of People &
       Date issued:                    18.07.2013
       Review date:                    18.07.2013
       Target audience:                Members of staff employed by Health Education
                                       Anyone for whom HEE has a legal responsibility.
                                       Staff covered by a letter of authority/honorary
                                       contract or work experience.
                                       Third parties and other authorised to undertake
                                       work on behalf of HEE.

       Document History:
       05.07.2013                      Version 1.0: issued for consideration by Corporate
       22.07.2013                      Submitted to Operational Management Executive
                                       Committee for approval.
       26.07.2013                      Approved
       13.09.2013                      Version 2: issued

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Executive Summary

      Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations (DSE Regulations)

      The principal health risks associated with DSE work are physical (musculoskeletal)
      problems, visual fatigue and mental stress. These often reflect bodily fatigue. None of them
      are unique to DSE work, nor are they an inevitable consequence of it. Risks to typical users
      should be low if the DSE Regulations are complied with and ergonomic principles are taken
      into account in the design, selection, installation and use of equipment; the design of the
      workplace and the organisation of the task.

      However, it is important not to be complacent about this. DSE workers are so numerous that
      low risk to the average individual may still equate to many thousands of cases of ill health in
      the working population. In addition, risks to individuals in a particular workplace may remain
      low if control measures are poorly designed from the start, or if circumstances change.

      As many people work with DSE, there is considerable potential for reducing the total burden
      of occupational ill health by managing DSE risks. Stakeholders can help achieve this by:

         -   Reducing risks of ill health, by complying with the DSE Regulations and guidance.
         -   Encouraging early reporting systems.
         -   Ensuring cases of ill health are managed effectively.
         -   Reviewing risk assessments as and when necessary.

      The Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment Regulations) sets out minimum
      requirements for workstations, applicable mainly to typical office workstations, these
      requirements are applicable only in so far as the components refereed to are present at the
      work station concerned; the requirements are not precluded by the inherent requirements of
      the task, and the requirements relate to worker health, safety and welfare.

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         1.   Introduction                                                    4
         2.   Purpose and Scope                                               4
         3.   Definitions                                                     4
         4.   Duties and Responsibilities                                     6
         5.   Display Screen Equipment Assessment & Risk Control              7
         6.   Control Measures & Safe Systems of Work                         8
         7.   Equality Impact Assessment (EIA)                               10
         8.   Education and Training Requirements                            10
         9.   Monitoring Compliance and Effectiveness                        10
        10.   Associated Documentation                                       11
        11.   References                                                     11

              Appendix A – Work Station Assessment Form
              Appendix B – Self Assessment Guidance
              Appendix C – Work Station Practices
              Appendix D – Equality Impact Assessment
              Appendix E – Procedural Document Check

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1. Introduction

         This policy has been developed to ensure that Health Education England comply with
         the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Management of
         Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Display Screen Equipment
         Regulations 1992, as amended by the Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments)
         Regulations 2002. Incorrect use of display screen equipment can cause ill-health and
         injury. This policy has been based upon the following Regulations:

         1.1. Display Screen Equipment regulations 1992, as amended by the Health and Safety
              (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.
         1.2. Health and safety at Work Act 1974.
         1.3. Management of health and Safety at Work regulations 1999.
         1.4. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
         1.5. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

      2. Purpose and Scope

         2.1. This policy encompasses all Health Education England employees, including
              permanent, temporary, volunteer workers and home workers. It applies to all
              workstations used for Health Education England activities, regardless of who has
              provided them.
         2.2. In order to achieve this Health Education England accepts that implementation of an
              effective and proactive Display Screen Equipment Policy will enable it to work
              towards reducing risks to all persons who are affected by the organisations
              activities, including the reduction of potential or actual harm to Health Education
              England employees, and to its services, property and financial resources.
         2.3. Under the Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, Health
              Education England is required to identify users of display screen equipment; and to
              carry out an assessment of work stations, and, as far as reasonably practicable,
              introduce measures that will eliminate or minimise possible health effects such as
              upper limb pains and discomfort, eye and eyesight effects, and fatigue and stress.
         2.4. The Policy will be monitored for effectiveness by Estates and Facilities in
              conjunction with Human Resources.

      3. Definitions

         3.1. Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

            3.1.1. This term covers any alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of
                   the technology involved. This includes CRT display screens, liquid crystal and
                   other new technologies and microfiche screens. Window typewriters
                   calculators and other equipment with small data displays, portable systems
                   not in prolonged use are not included.

         3.2. User

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3.2.1. This policy applies to all employees who habitually use display screen
                   equipment as a significant part of their normal work.

            3.2.2. A person is a ‘’user’’ if more than one of the following apply:

          The individual uses DSE to do the job, and alternative means are not
                            readily available for achieving the same results.
          The individual uses DSE for periods of an hour or more at a time,
                            more or less on a daily basis.
          Tasks depend upon the transfer of information between the employee
                            and screen, attention and concentration demands are high, such as
                            where there may be critical consequences of an error.
          Workers who are almost certain to be classified as users include;
                            those employed as visual display unit (VDU) operators who spend all
                            their time keying information; employees who copy type onto a word
                            processor or transcribe from a dictation machine for two or three
                            hours a day; date input operators.

         3.3. Workstation

            3.3.1. The term ‘workstation’ includes the display screen equipment, keyboard,
                   mouse or any other input devices; the immediate work environment, work
                   chair, work desk, work surface, printers, and document holder. This policy
                   also applies to portable DSE in prolonged use (e.g. more than one hour),
                   including laptop, handheld computers and personal digital assistants.

         3.4. Some Possible Health Effects

            3.4.1. It is extremely unlikely that staff using DSE will experience health problems
                   when proper control measures are applied. This policy outlines the possible
                   control measures available.

            3.4.2. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and other work related upper limb disorders
                   (WRULDS) range from temporary cramp to chronic soft tissue disorders such
                   as carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist. It is likely that a combination of factors
                   produces these conditions e.g. poor sitting position, poor workstation design,
                   infrequent breaks of changes of position.

            3.4.3. Temporary fatigue, eyestrain and headaches can be caused by a number
                   of factors e.g. reflections, glare and flicker on the screen, positioning of the
                   monitor, inadequate lighting or poor body posture. Staying in the same
                   position relative to the screen for long periods can have a similar effect.
                   Please note that eye and eyesight defects do not result from the use of DSE,
                   and it does not make existing defects worse, however, use of DSE will show
                   up an existing defect. Fatigue and Stress are more likely to result from poor
                   job design work organisation, lack of user control over the system, social
                   isolation and high-speed working than form physical aspects of the
                   workstation. Epilepsy is not known to have been induced by DSE.

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3.4.4. Exposure to radiation during pregnancy – medical research shows that
                     radiation levels from the equipment do not pose significant risks to health of
                     the mother or her unborn child. However, pregnant users should be given the
                     opportunity to discuss any concerns in order to allay any fears or anxiety.

      4.       Roles and Responsibilities

           4.1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

              4.1.1. Shall have overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with Health and
                     Safety legislation.
              4.1.2. Shall ensure that this policy is reviewed every two years and in the light of any
                     failure of the system and/or changes in statutory legislation.
              4.1.3. Shall ensure that adequate resources are made available to implement the
                     policy and carry out any remedial action or amendments to this policy..

           4.2. Executive Directors/Management Team

              4.2.1. Shall be responsible for identifying all workstations for which an assessment
                     is necessary, and those employees who can be considered users.
              4.2.2. Shall respond to requests for remedial action to minimise risk following an
                     assessment, audit or inspection, by allocating funds, or seeking funds for the
                     procurement of equipment, or changes to working practices where it will
                     reduce the risk of injury or ill health.

           4.3. Managers

              4.3.1. Ensure that staff within their team who are DSE users are given a copy of this
                     policy (new starters should be given one on induction).
              4.3.2. Ensure that members of staff who are DES users (including those who
                     regularly use a laptop at home or in an office base away from a Health
                     Education England building) complete a DSE self-assessment form (see
                     Appendix A) on induction. The self-assessment should be reviewed if there
                     are any major changes to the furniture, the hardware or software; if
                     workstations are re-sited or the working environment is changed. Review will
                     also be required if the nature of the work is changed or if there is any change
                     in the user’s health which may affect their ability to use DSE safely e.g. wrist
                     injury. In any case, the DSE self-assessment should be reviewed at least
              4.3.3. Ensure that any issues arising from the DSE assessment process are
                     appropriately dealt with, for example purchasing new office equipment or
                     referring issues to the Occupational Health provider.
              4.3.4. Ensure employees receive adequate eye and eyesight examinations on
                     request and, where required, are provided with basic corrective appliances for
                     DSE use.

           4.4. Employees

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4.4.1. All employees shall be personally accountable for their actions, and
                   responsible for ensuring that they comply with this policy.
            4.4.2. All employees shall be responsible for complying with instruction and training
                   which is provided to minimise the risk to health from operating display screen
            4.4.3. All employees shall be responsible for taking reasonable care of corrective
                   appliances, and maintain them in good condition.
            4.4.4. All employees shall be responsible for reporting back to their line manager
                   any personal conditions which may affect their capability to operate display
                   screen equipment.
            4.4.5. All employees shall be responsible for reporting and documenting any
                   accidents, injuries or ill health conditions that may arise in connection with
                   display screen equipment.
            4.4.6. All employees shall not bring their own equipment into work for use at a
                   display screen, only those items supplied by the organisation will be allowed.

         4.5. Occupational Health Provider

            4.5.1. Will see any member of staff who health is suspected of being adversely
                   affected by using DSE equipment, and has been referred by a line manager.
            4.5.2. Carry out An Occupational Health work place assessment if any significant
                   issues are identified following an initial DSE self-assessment, and specialist
                   advice is required.

         4.6. Human Resources

            4.6.1. Manage the referral process for the Occupational Health assessments.
            4.6.2. Maintain assessment records on relevant personnel files.

      5. Display Screen Equipment Assessment and Risk Control

         5.1. Assessment

            5.1.1. In compliance with the Management of Health & Safety Regulations 1999, all
                   risks in the workplace must be assessed. In addition the Health and Safety
                   (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, states that a ‘suitable and
                   sufficient’ assessment must be made of all workstations utilised by users.
                   Health Education England has adopted for all employees who have a PC to
                   undertake a self-assessment regardless of whether they are classed as a
            5.1.2. All users will receive sufficient training and guidance on how to complete a
                   self-assessment using the approved guidance notes (Appendices B & C).
            5.1.3. Should the user answer ‘Yes’ to all of the questions on the self-assessment
                   form, then no further action is required.
            5.1.4. Should the user answer ‘No’ to any of the questions or need further support or
                   clarity on the self-assessment form then they should inform their line manager
                   and a re-assessment will be organised with a trained assessor as soon as is
                   reasonably practicable in relation to the level of risk.
            5.1.5. On completion of the assessment and effective implementation of suitable
                   control measures to reduce any risk of injury and/or ill health, the assessment

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will be filed in the ‘users’ HR file and a copy kept in the Facilities/Estates file.
            5.1.6. Where is it not possible to reduce the level of risk and there remains a
                    significant risk of injury and/or ill heath, a referral by the line manager in
                    consultation with HR should be made to the Occupational Health Provider, in
                    order that a further risk assessment can be carried out.
            5.1.7. An assessment will need to be reviewed if there is any reason to suspect that
                    it is no longer valid or there is a change to the matters to which the
                    assessment relates.
            5.1.8. Assessments must be reviewed every two years , or sooner if there are any
                    significant changes i.e.
            5.1.9. A major change to/or replacement of software or hardware (screen, keyboard
            5.1.10. A substantial increase in the amount of time spent using display screen
            5.1.11. A substantial change in the task requirements (e.g. more speed or accuracy.
            5.1.12. If the user and/or workstation is moved.
            5.1.13. Recruitment of a new user.
            5.1.14. Where concerns have been highlighted.

      6. Control Measures and Safe Systems of Work

         6.1. An ergonomic approach is required to minimise the potential risks associated with
              working with DSE. This involves consideration of the relationship between the
              employee, the task, equipment and environment with a view to designing the task to
              fit the person.
         6.2. The following general principles should be used in attempting to reduce the potential
              risks to health.

            6.2.1. Deal with the highest risk factor first.
            6.2.2. Take seriously and investigate reports of aches and pains form users.
            6.2.3. Look for less obvious causes of risk, for example, poor posture may be due to
                   poor seating, or sitting awkwardly to avoid glare on the screen, or leaning
                   forward to key because arm rests prevent the chair being close to the
                   workstation. (Appendices B & C) illustrate good posture and aspects of the
                   equipment/environment which should be considered in undertaking DSE
            6.2.4. Having taken action to reduce the risks, the user should be consulted to
                   check that no new problems have arisen. For example, after having raised the
                   chair height in order to have their forearms in the correct keying position, a
                   user may find that they now require a foot rest so that they can place their feet
                   flat on the floor.

         6.3. Working Practices

            6.3.1. Intensive periods of on-screen work should be avoided. This is best achieved
                   by varying tasks within the working day.
            6.3.2. If it is difficult to vary work tasks, the user, in discussion with their manager
                   should organise their work pattern to ensure that they do not spend excessive
                   periods working continually on display screen equipment duties without any
                   form of break.

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6.3.3. Breaks do not need to be non-productive time e.g. telephone, filing or
                   photocopying are display screen equipment breaks.
            6.3.4. Suitable rest breaks depend on the nature of the work. Health Education
                   England acknowledges the HSE suggestion that periods of work between
                   breaks should be at least 50 minutes but not greater than 120 minutes and
                   that breaks should be between 12 and 15 minutes duration.
            6.3.5. Giving DSE user’s flexibility and control in their work and a variation in tasks
                   will help prevent fatigue and stress. Consider providing additional training to
                   users in the use of software, or changing software itself if it is proving to be a
                   stress factor.

         6.4. Equipment

            6.4.1. Furniture and equipment adjusted incorrectly can result in discomfort and can
                   even lead to disability in extreme circumstances. Poor work design can cause
                   or aggravate these conditions. Unnecessary discomfort can be avoided by
                   adopting the following simple precautions.

       Adjust furniture and equipment so that you are comfortable when
       Where possible, take the opportunity to vary activities, breaking up long
                         periods of DSE activity and ensure scheduled breaks are away from the
       Report symptoms of discomfort or ill health as soon as you become
                         aware of them.
       Inform your line manager of your training needs.
       Do not tamper with electrical equipment – ask for assistance.

            6.4.2. Display Screen Equipment has made a significant contribution to working life
                   and can be used in complete safety where a few common sense measures
                   are taken. The three most important steps are to :

       Adjust furniture and equipment to suit your needs – DO NOT adjust your
                         own posture to suit the workstation.
       Avoid adopting a static posture and avoid, where possible, prolonged
                         DSE work without a change of activity..
       Always report problems with your furniture, equipment or health as soon
                         as these arise.

         6.5. Home Work Stations

       Workstations used on a regular basis at home for Health Education
                         England must be self-assessed, irrespective of who provided the
                         workstation. An initial self-assessment by the user themselves with
                         reference to a trained local assessor is adequate.

         6.6. Procurement of Equipment

Developing people                                                                       www.hee.nhs.uk
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healthcare                                                                              @NHS_HealthEdEng All DSE equipment will be assessed by Health Education England prior
                         to procurement to ensure that it is both suitable for the task and
                         complies fully with any appropriate safety standard.
       Health Education England will provide, as far as is reasonably
                         practicable, any equipment necessary to safely carry out work involving
       Any requests for equipment will be requested via the employee’s line
                         manager, provided that the appropriate assessments have been carried

         6.7. Maintenance of Equipment

            6.7.1. General day to day maintenance of all DSE equipment will be the
                   responsibility of the user i.e. any defects or problems must be reported, as
                   soon as possible. Do not put yourself at risk by continuing to operate a
                   defective piece of equipment.
            6.7.2. If the equipment is of an electrical nature, then isolate and remove form use,
                   wherever possible and report it to the IT Department.

         6.8. Accidents and Incidents

            6.8.1. Accidents and/or incidents involving the use of DSE equipment must be
                   reported using the Health Education England accident/incident reporting

      7. Equality Impact Assessment (EIA)

         7.1. Under the Equality Act, the need for public bodies in England to undertake or publish
              an equality impact assessment of their policies, practices and decisions was
              removed in April 2011 when the 'single equality duty' was introduced. Public bodies
              must still give "due regard" to the need to avoid discrimination and promote equality
              of opportunity for all protected groups when making policy decisions and are
              required to publish information showing how they are complying with this duty.

      8. Education and Training Requirements

         8.1. All staff will receive awareness of this policy through their Health and Safety
         8.2. Should anyone require support, advice or guidance on any element outlined in this
              policy they should speak to their line manager or the Estates and Facilities
              Management Lead.

      9. Monitoring Compliance and Effectiveness

         9.1. Procedural documents will be reviewed by the procedural document owner with
              two years of approval. However, a review earlier than this may be prompted by
              other factors including:

            9.1.1. Legislative or regulatory changes.
            9.1.2. Structural or role changes.

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9.1.3.   Operational or technological changes.
            9.1.4.   Changes in the evidence base.
            9.1.5.   Organisational learning.
            9.1.6.   Audits and reviews of the effectiveness of the policy.

      10. Associated Documentation

         10.1.   HEE Health & Safety Policy.

      11. References

         11.1.   Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
         11.2.   Management of Health and safety Regulations 1999
         11.3.   Display Screen Equipment Regulations 1992, as amended by the Health and
                 Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002
         11.4.   Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
         11.5.   Provision and Use of Work Equipment regulations 1998
         11.6.   Health and Safety Executive website on DSE http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/
         11.7.   Health and Safety Executive website on DSE Guidance

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