DSE Assessor Training Safety, Health and Wellbeing October 2007
Aims of session • Knowledge of health & safety regulations. • Identification of hazards and risks associated with DSE use • Knowledge on how to avoid future injury/health problems. • Provision of information and instruction to colleagues on prevention of DSE-related problems.
What is Display Screen Equipment? • The terms VDU, VDT, a monitor and display screen equipment (DSE) all mean the same thing – a display screen, usually forming part of a computer and showing text, numbers and graphics. • This applies to portable computers (laptops) and blackberries. • This training programme applies to the whole workstation (monitor, keyboard, desk, etc.), your job and your work environment.
Legal requirements Over-riding legislation • Health and Safety at Work etc Act • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations Imposes general duties and requires employers to carry out risk assessments, make arrangements to reduce risk, appoint competent people and arrange for appropriate information and training.
Legal requirements specific to DSE Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations • Employers must: Analyse workstations to assess risks to users; Keep assessments valid and up to date; Reduce risks to lowest extent reasonably practicable; Plan activities of users; Provide eye tests for users; Provide health and safety training for users. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations • require that equipment provided for use at work is safe. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations • cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues such as ventilation, heating, lighting, workstations, seating and welfare facilities.
Risk assessment principles? 1 Identify hazards (e.g. continual DSE use for long periods at any one time, awkward postures, poor lighting, etc…) 2 Identify people at risk (users of DSE) 3 Evaluate risk 4 Additional control measures (identification of remedial action that will eliminate/ reduce the risk) • Information and training • Records (keep DSE self assessments and risk assessment records) • Monitoring and review (review self assessments yearly or following any significant change - e.g. moving desk – or following any incident).
Summary of training so far…. Legally… • Every employer shall analyse their workstations, with the intention of assessing the health and safety risks to users • The employer shall reduce the risks so far as is reasonably practicable Locally… • You have been nominated as the local DSE assessor for your team to analyse the health and safety risks to users (as identified in their self-assessment).
DSE Assessor role • You need to successfully complete this training package and make sure everyone in your team is aware that you are their assessor. • Once your team members have completed the DSE self-assessment, you will need to review them and identify areas requiring corrective action to eliminate or reduce the risk. • It is then down to your manager to authorise your recommendations as necessary.
What are the possible health risks associated with DSE use?True or False?Complete the questionnaire
DSE affects eyesight! FALSE: • There is no evidence that use of DSE can cause disease or permanent damage to eyes. However, using the DSE for long periods can cause tired eyes and discomfort. • The users may become more aware of existing eye problems due to: • Sitting in a static position at workstation for long periods • Poor lighting conditions or image on screen • Inadequate legibility of documents being copied • Poor position of DSE • Glare on screen
Causes headaches! TRUE • May result from a combination of things that occur with DSE work, such as: • Reading the screen for long periods without a break • Screen glare; • Poor image quality; • Stress from the pace of work; • Poor posture;
Causes stress! FALSE • DSE itself doesn’t cause stress, it can arise from a number of factors including: • Pace of work; • Deadlines; or • Lack of support; or • The control users have over their work
Causes facial rashes and skin disorders! FALSE • The exact cause is not known, but it seems possible that a combination of dry air, static electricity and individual susceptibility may be involved. • Skin disorders are therefore likely to be associated with a poor working environment e.g. low humidity
User is exposed to harmful radiation! FALSE • There is no evidence to suggest any link between ill-health and DSE in relation to radiation exposure. • DSE gives out both visible light (so we can see the screen) and other forms of electromagnetic radiation which can be harmful above certain levels. The level of radiation given off DSE is well below the safe levels set out in international recommendations.
Triggers epileptic fits! FALSE • Generally, most people with this condition are completely unaffected by DSE and can do this type of work without any complications. • However, sufferers with the rare form ‘PHOTO-SENSITIVE’ epilepsy may be affected in some circumstances as they are susceptible to flickering lights and striped patterns. In this instance, the individual may want to contact their doctor or see their manager for a referral to Occupational Health.
Varicous Veins & Thrombosis • Can develop with many other activities
Can develop postural fatigue! TRUE • As with any similar intensive work, fatigue and aches and pains can develop. • This can be managed by ensuring that DSE self-assessments are completed and the corrective action taken. Work must be planned to ensure breaks or change of activity are carried out to prevent the operator sitting in a static position.
Causes repetitive strain injury (RSI)! TRUE • The term RSI is favoured by the media, but the correct terminology for aches and pains in the hands, wrists, arms, neck, shoulders or back, is ‘upper limb disorders’ (ULD’s). Usually these disorders do not last, but in a few cases they may become persistent or even disabling. • Fatigue and stress may be alleviated by correcting obvious defects in the workstation, and ensuring the software is appropriate to the task. In addition, as in other kinds of work, good design of the task will be important. • Examples of ULD’s are on the following slides…
ULD – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome • Median nerve is restricted as it passes through the carpal tunnel. • This can be caused by repetitive/ forceful movements which results in the tunnel walls being compressed, putting pressure on the median nerve. This can occur through hobbies or occupational activities.
ULD – Tenosynovitis • Inflammation of the tissues on the thumb side of the wrist • Inflamed tendons cause the tendon sheath or lining to swell and thicken thereby pinching the tendons and making them unable to slide easily
Factors that increase the risk of ULD’s • Awkward postures (sitting too high or low for the desk height, having no back support, twisting, etc). • Carrying out repetitive tasks • Forceful exertions (using forceful movements when typing) • Holding static posture (sitting for too long in a fixed posture without change) • Other factors, such as, bad design and setup of workstation, or using a chair with no support. The way a workstation is organised can also cause ULD’s or make them worse.
To summarise…. • Where problems do occur for DSE users, they are generally caused by the way in which DSE is being used, rather than the DSE itself. Therefore problems can be avoided by good workplace and job design, and by the way the DSE and workstationis used. Your role is to help in this area. • Although the causes may not always be obvious and can be due to a combination of factors, we do know the importance of some measures – especially, the need to sit properly and take breaks!
Analysis Of Workstations And Reducing Risk • Every employer shall analyse their workstations, with the intention of assessing the health and safety risks to users • The employer shall reduce the risks so far as is reasonably practicable
DSE self-assessments • Must be completed by anyone who uses DSE for their work, regardless of how long they use it for. • DSE self-assessments do not need to be completed by people who never use a computer for their job.
What makes a user? An employee who habitually uses Display Screen Equipment as a significant part their normal work is a user. This is established by the first few questions on the self-assessment. Users are defined as normally using DSE continuously for an hour or more; AND use DSE in this way more or less daily; AND have to transfer information quickly to or from the DSE; AND also need to apply high levels of attention and concentration; or are highly dependent on DSE or have little choice about using it; or need special training or skills to use the DSE.
Eyesight tests and corrective lenses for HSE defined ‘users’ only • An user is identified through the self-assessment. • In order to get an eyesight test funded by Walsall Council users must complete the eyesight section on the back of an ‘expenses and subsistence claim form’, which is available from the intranet. • With their manager's authorising signature they can get an optician's eyesight test from 4Sight, Saddlers Centre, Walsall. (They will invoice the Council direct. Do not make an expenses claim). If they choose to go to another optician, they will have to get a receipt and claim the expense back - up to the same limit as the 4sight eye sight test. • If their optician believes they require a prescription for display screen work (which is quite rare), Walsall Council will contribute a sum of money which will pay for a basic pair of spectacles • Designer frames and other lens treatments are at their expense. • The current payment limits for both eyesight tests and prescription spectacles charges are detailed on the back of the expenses form and are not negotiable.
Daily work routine – posture & breaks • Plan DSE user work activities so that it is possible for them to have work breaks. This break is a postural break away from the workstation to prevent static postures. This includes answering the phone, filing, photocopying, etc… • There is no legal limit on how long you should work on DSE for. Regular short breaks are better than longer breaks more infrequently.
The Spine – Detail • Spine consists of vertebrae (bones) and: • Discs which act as shock absorbers Click on the picture
The spine - neutral position (maintaining the natural curve) • A neutral position will preserve the normal curves of the back and minimise any physical stress. This gives the spine maximum flexibility and load bearing capacity. • Postural problems may be overcome by simple adjustments to the workstation such as repositioning equipment or adjusting the chair. • Avoid slouching – keep the natural curve in your lower back • Make sure your lower back is properly supported by the chair
What is ergonomics? • Ergonomics is a science concerned with the ‘fit’ between people and their work. It puts people first, taking account of their capabilities and limitations. Ergonomics aims to make sure that tasks, equipment, information and the environment suit each worker. The following slides look at how we can ensure that operators are working ergonomically at their workstation, for their job.
Neck, ear, shoulder and hips should be in relative straight alignment Non-neutral neck positions are where the head is jetting forward, flexed downward, rotated left or right. This can be caused by: monitor being too far away; image is too small or unclear; visual problems of operator; or incorrect seating. Non-neutral neck positions increase muscular tension, increases the fatigue rate of the neck muscles. Neutral Position
For most jobs, armrests are not essential. They can restrict arm movement, although for many jobs they can provide comfort. They should be set back from the front edge of the seat, or be adjustable to allow the chair to be drawn up close to the work surface. The height of armrests should not be too low or too high to cause discomfort. Back support height and tilt adjustable to keep the natural curve of the spine and thus meet the needs of a range of users. Seat height adjustable Stable base Adjustable Work – Chair
If you are sitting incorrectly at a DSE workstation for continuous periods of time, it can cause a lot of distress in a number of different parts of the body Posture
Elbows should be close to the worker’s side and bent at 90 degrees or slightly greater (100º – 110º). Non-neutral positions of the arms add additional stress to both the shoulder, arm and wrist muscles. Shoulders, Elbows & Wrists
NEUTRAL position with lower back support maintaining the natural curve of spine Sitting position
Knee & Foot Stresses and strain placed on the ankle is not supported correctly (ie foot rest too high). Also if not supported as all then you can get pain at the back of the knee. No stress or strain placed on the ankle
Workstation Layout • Place monitor directly in front • To create space, consider placing base unit on floor • Use document holder to keep documents upright • Place telephone to side of non-dominant hand Normal working zone Zone of convenient reach
Workstation layout • Aim to view the monitor with a straight neck and head posture to reduce neck pain Often this is achieved by having the top of the screen level with the user’s eyes
Glare • Reposition monitor facing away from window • Install or adjust window curtains or blinds • Decrease background lighting • Only if this doesn’t work, consider buying an anti-glare screen
Helping users make adjustments • Adjust their chair and monitor to find the most comfortable position for your work. As a broad guide, their forearms should be approximately horizontal and eyes the same height as the top of the monitor. • Make sure they have enough work space to take whatever documents or other equipment they need. • Try different arrangements of keyboard, screen, mouse and documents to find the best arrangement. A document holder may help avoid awkward neck and eye movements. • Arrange their desk and monitor to avoid glare, or bright reflections on the screen. This will be easiest if neither they nor the screen is directly facing windows or bright lights. Adjust curtains or blinds to prevent unwanted light. • Make sure there is space under the desk to move legs freely. Move any obstacles such as boxes or equipment. • Avoid excess pressure from the edge of your seat on the backs of their legs and knees. A footrest may be helpful, particularly for smaller users.
Helping users make adjustments Typing • Adjust their keyboard to get a good typing position. A space in front of the keyboard is sometimes helpful for resting the hands and wrists when not typing. • Advise users to keep their wrists straight when typing. Keep a soft touch on the keys and don’t overstretch your fingers. Good keyboard technique is important.
Helping users make adjustments Using a mouse • Position the mouse within easy reach, so it can be used with the wrist straight. Sit upright and close to the desk, (so they don’t have to work with your mouse arm stretched). Move the keyboard out of the way if it is not being used. • Support your forearm on the desk, and don’t grip the mouse too tightly. • Rest your fingers lightly on the buttons and do not press them hard.
Helping users make adjustments Reading the screen • Adjust the brightness and contrast controls on the screen to suit lighting conditions in the room. • Make sure the screen surface is clean. • Ensure that the text is large enough to read easily on your screen, when you are sitting in a normal, comfortable working position. Select colours that are easy on the eye (avoid red text on a blue background, or vice-versa). • Individual characters on the screen should be sharply focused and should not flicker or move. If they do, the monitor may need servicing or adjustment.
Video – ‘In Your Own Interest’ • 20 mins
Portable DSE - Laptops Laptops have been designed to be compact and easily transportable for use ‘on the go’. The small keypad and screen design forces you to adopt awkward postures when using it. Laptops are not designed for prolonged use. The best thing to do, is not use laptops unless necessary (e.g. you require a laptop because you work in different locations).
Laptops • Laptops and notebooks must have a DSE self-assessment completed. • Ensure that the office workspace is set up to recreate a more traditional workstation (e.g. using a docking station, or attachable keyboard and mouse along with a height adjustable platform to raise the laptop screen height (or an additional monitor could be used).
Laptops If you use a laptop you must: • sit comfortably and ergonomically; • angle the screen so that it can be seen easily with no/minimal reflections; • Take frequent breaks • Use on a firm surface at the right height for keying (don’t use on your lap) • Avoid slouching • If on the train, use the seats with communal tables provided • If in the car, sit in the passenger seat and place on top of briefcase. • When carrying the laptop, use luggage with wheels or case with shoulder strap.