ICT Health And Safety - DSE Training
By Carlton Longoria on February 15, 2012
The phrase 'Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Training' could mean anything...some might even think it is something to do with fixing computers. But don't be fooled by the words! Anyone who regularly uses a computer might need DSE training. DSE training should be carried out by anyone who regularly uses a computer. In January 1993 The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 came into effect. The DSE regulations aim to protect regular uses of display screen equipment.
The computer health and safety display screen regulations even apply to employees who work from home if they sit at a screen for a good part of their work. Of course, working on a computer isn't dangerous. In fact there has been a great deal of ICT health and safety studies carried out, for example into how a computer may affect eyesight, and the results show there's no evidence that it causes disease or permanent damage to eyes. Most safety concerns to do with computers are to do with posture.
A relatively high number of DSE workers, particularly those who haven't carried out DSE training, complain about aches and pains, eyestrain and headaches. Aches and pains can be in the fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and backs - these are musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) but are often referred to as repetitive strain injuries (RSI). If nothing is done to help, and staff aren't given DSE training, these aches and pains may well become serious. Poor typing position or bashing the keys too hard, not taking enough breaks and not changing task regularly are all possible factors in RSI type injuries and early action is important.
Headaches and eyestrain may be exacerbated by screen glare from a poorly positioned computer screen, incorrect contrast on the screen, screen characters which are too small or not in sharp focus or spending too long looking at the screen without a break. Stress from workload and badly designed software can also be a big factor in causing tension headaches. Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that although work-related MSDs are on the decrease, they still make up an alarming proportion of the work-related illnesses each year. MSDs are not only the result of computer use of course, other factors such as poor manual handling technique also plays a part.
Computer health and safety isn't complicated or expensive. Just a few simple adjustments may be all that's needed to eliminate health concerns and meet display screen regulations. With good posture, a well laid-out and well-positioned workstation, regular breaks and, if possible, the ability to change or alternate tasks during the course of the day many of the problems will be alleviated. For example, a few adjustments to seating and posture may stop that gradual build-up of pain across the shoulders, or in the small of the back. The chair should be adjustable to allow it to be the correct height for the desk, and legs should be able to move comfortably.
The chair back should also tilt and adjust up and down to a position to support the small of the back securely. We tend to take for granted how we sit, but poor posture can have a huge effect on health and safety. It's important to keep the curves in the back in alignment - that means no slumping, stretching or twisting - and this could mean rearranging the things on the desk and in the immediate vicinity to a more logical position (the things used most should be the easiest to get at).
Perhaps, similar to a motorway 'take a break' should flash up at intervals on the computer screen of regular users! Simple adjustments to the workstation or workday can reduce RSI, pain and tension. DSE training discusses these adjustments in further detail, and helps employers meet display screen equipment regulations. Choosing DSE training which ends with a DSE assessment will give employers proof of what their staff have learnt.
A concise, easy-to-follow, 30-minute DSE training course is available from The Interactive Health and Safety Company (iHasco). Visit their website and sample their Display Screen Equipment training programme, which includes a full personal DSE assessment. DSE training course
Original article published on SooperArticles.com
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