What is a DSE Assessment?

Everything you need to know about DSE self-assessments, risk assessments and workstation assessments

Want to find out about DSE assessments, carry them out yourself, or have them performed for you by a qualified DSE assessor? Well you’re in luck, here’s a handy guide to everything you need to know about DSE Risk Assessments, including:

  • How to manage DSE Assessments yourselves (we’ll help with our handy free guides, templates, posters and assessment forms!)
  • How to get help with your DSE assessments either with remote virtual DSE sessions online anywhere in the UK or abroad, by simple DSE checklists, using an online quiz, or in-person in Manchester, Stockport, Cheshire and the North West.

Do You Need a Free DSE Assessment Checklist?

Our DSE Toolkit is completely free. Simply get in touch and ask!

Why? Because we care about staff!

Our very own James had pain and discomfort working in IT. He built up this company to solve the problems small and medium sized companies can have keeping their staff comfortable and productive.

Now every time we’re asked what is a DSE Assessment we can point you to this valuable resource and save you time, money and effort getting the most out of your workforce. 

So lets get to it, and start by asking, what is a DSE assessment?

What is a DSE Assessment?

A DSE assessment is a thorough check of your screen-using employees’ workspace to ensure they are safe and comfortable at work. They can be a checklist, a quiz, or an online or in-person assessment. Larger companies will generally engage their Occupational Health departments to manage this. Small and medium sized companies will generally engage ergonomic specialists to ensure they are compliant, to safeguard their staff, and to increase productivity.

What does a DSE Risk Assessment Include?

Areas looked at include the screen, the software, keyboard, mouse, desk, chair, lighting, tasks performed etc. The aim is to identify and then act to resolve risks than can be hazardous or painful to your employees.

DSE Assessment Meaning

DSE means ‘Display Screen Equipment’. The assessments are a legal requirement for every company with 5 or more employees. These can sometime be called VDU (Visual Display Unit) assessments, or workstation assessments. Here at Posture Stars, DSE assessments are seen as the most basic offering, and are generally “sort of ok” for staff or employees who aren’t suffering any problems. Basically they’re the minimum legal requirement. Bear in mind that most MSD’s (Musculoskeletal disorders) for your staff take time to build up, so we like to go further than just a plain-old DSE wherever possible! But if you just need a tick in the box, we’ve got you covered too!

Are DSE Assessments a Legal Requirement?

Yes! The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 exists to protect your employees who regularly use DSE as a significant part of their daily work. They aim to protect your staff from the health risks of working with Display Screen Equipment, in particular computers and laptops and also including touchscreens, smartphones and tablets/I-pads. If your company has 5 or more employees, you must keep a written DSE assessment. The law applies if employees are at a workstation, mobile workers, hot-deskers, as well as hybrid (part office, part home) and home workers.

Are DSE Assessments required for home working, and hybrid staff also working from home?

The law applies equally to employees who work at home on a permanent or long-term basis, as well as those who routinely split their time between work and home. For home workers, you should assess them at home (self-assess, in-person or online assessment). For hybrid users you should assess both at the workplace as well as at the home.

What are the Health Risks of DSE Use?

Poorly designed workplaces, poor seating, substandard or unsuitable equipment and poor posture, and a lack of control over a user’s own environment can all contribute to neck, back, shoulder and arm pain or injury (many of which build up over time), as well as fatigue, headaches and eye strain. Not only does the employee suffer, leading to absence, costly tribunals, or resignation, but the company also suffers with the costs of lower morale, lost productivity, litigation and absence. Numerous studies point out to the value of the benefits of ergonomic intervention vastly outweighing the costs.

How Often Should a DSE Assessment Be Carried Out?

After the initial assessment, we recommend a simple yearly review to ensure your compliance. There are also several instances where a DSE assessment must be reviewed, which we discuss next.

When Must a DSE Assessment Be Reviewed?

Your DSE assessments need to be reviewed when:
Your employees change workstations
A new-hire joins the company
A new workstation is set up
The nature of an employee’s role changes considerably
There are major changes to the software, equipment, furniture or work environment
An employee complains of pain, discomfort, injury or fatigue using their workstation
As you can see, there are frequent occasions when you’ll need to re-assess your employees to comply with the regulations. Don’t be dismayed, we’re here to help!

Do New Staff Need a DSE Assessment?

Yes they do. All new hires need a DSE assessment! As well as the legal aspect, this is also the best way to ensure they have the safest, and most comfortable, working environment achievable - so they are at their most productive!

How Do I Find DSE Assessment Templates and Forms

A template or form (usually a PDF or in Word, and sometimes an online survey or quiz) for you to follow, to check that your screen-based staff are working safely and comfortably. These can be completed by the employee (DSE self-assessment - DIY), by a staff-member trained in DSE (‘Done With You’), or by a qualified DSE assessor (‘Done For You’). After the assessment, someone with DSE knowledge should review the assessment and ensure any issues are resolved. We’re happy to provide you with a DSE toolkit free of charge.

Who needs a DSE?

All regular users of computers and laptops, including touchscreens, smartphones and tablets/ipads should receive DSE training if you have 5 or more employees and are in the UK. Our DSE toolkit can help.

More DSE Assessment Information

Further Reading: Useful Resources about the Legal Side

All Inquiries

For all corporate inquires please drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible, usually within the hour during workdays.

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