Display Screen Equipment
Prolonged working with computers can be associated with neck, shoulder, back or arm pain, as well as with fatigue and eyestrain.
Research has found that a high proportion of DSE workers report aches, pains or eye discomfort. These aches and pains are sometimes called Upper Limb Disorders (ULDs). These can include a range of medical conditions such as RSI (Repetitive Strain Injuries). In addition nine in ten British businesses are failing to meet their legal responsibilities to protect their workforce’s sight, according to a new study commissioned by the charity Eye Health UK and Vision Express Opticians. 85 per cent of office workers report suffering symptoms of screen fatigue after a typical day in the office. These included headaches, eyestrain and problems with close and long-distance vision.
Most of these conditions do not indicate any serious ill health, but it makes good sense to avoid them as far as possible.
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 aim to protect the health of people who work with DSE. The regulations were introduced because DSE has become one of the most common kinds of work equipment. However, it does place a legal obligation on all employers. They must make sure they care for the musculoskeletal and eye health of staff who regularly use a computer screen or similar at work in order to combat the visual stress associated with prolonged screen use.
That doesn’t mean that DSE work is high risk, it isn’t. However, muscular skeletal problems can be avoided if users follow effective practice, set up their workstations properly and take breaks during prolonged use.
By just taking a few simple precautions, work with DSE can be more comfortable and productive.
If you are a user and spend more than 10 hours per week using a computer, an assessment of your workstation will be required under the DSE Regulations 1992. This is to comply with the regulations. More importantly though it is to ensure that your workstation is set up as ergonomically as possible. This will minimise the likelihood of any ill effects.
Taking regular breaks during prolonged screen use is vital to keep your eyes healthy. All screen users should follow the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from the screen every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. It’s a really simple and effective way to minimise screen fatigue yet research shows only one in five screen users has heard of the 20-20-20 rule. Even fewer practice it!
If you have any questions or need help, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.