As DSE assessors we know that not setting up equipment properly can cause many issues – and although we realise meeting the requirements of a full DSE assessment is just not possible while working from home during the present crisis, we want to share some advice that may help.
A DSE assessment is a risk assessment that looks at the health risks of working with display screen equipment such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
With so many people working remotely it is important to be aware of how you are positioning yourself when using your computer and carrying out daily work-related tasks, to avoid potential health issues.
Follow the six-point plan
Arms – Ensure your elbows are level with the keyboard when sitting at your desk. This will position your wrists at the correct angle.
Getting comfortable – Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees at a minimum angle of 90 degrees. If you are unable to do this while sitting right back in your chair, you will need a footrest. Ensure your chair is adjusted to support your back.
Using the keyboard – Leave enough space in front of the keyboard for your hands and wrists. The keyboard should be placed towards the front of the desk to avoid overreaching while the mouse should be on the same platform and at the same level next to the keyboard.
Head and neck – The top of the screen should be level with your eyes in your line of sight. The screen should be directly in front of you, an arm’s distance away when sitting in an upright position.
Reviewing documents – Any documents being used during the course of your work should really be at the same level as the screen and on the same side as your dominant eye.
Overreaching – Ensure items in frequent use, such as the telephone and stationery equipment, are placed within easy reach.
Additionally, make sure the contrast, brightness and colour on screens are set correctly and that tasks are alternated to avoid eye strain and fatigue.
Taking these simple, basic, but extremely important steps will ensure you are set up correctly for a days work while protecting your health and wellbeing throughout the current home-working period.