What is a VDU/DSE Assessment?
VDU is Visual Display Unit and DSE is Display Screen Equipment. These are in relation to an employees workstation where they spend long periods of time. The Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act Chapter 5 of Part 2 provides the regulations around this Assessment. The employee is consulted and the workstation assessed and an analysis and recommendation is provided to the Employer where breaches have been found. Equally, recommendations are provided for Best Practice.
This Assessment is required to be carried out for each employee at their workstation and when there is a change in environment/equipment and when workstations are moved.
This Assessment can be provide on site or over zoom. Completed Assessments with Recommendations are provide to the Employer so that regulations can be met in terms of record-keeping.
What do I need to do to comply with the Display Screen Equipment Regulation 2007?
As an employer there are a number of duties set down it this regulation, the key requirements are to:
- Carry out an analysis or risk assessment of employee workstations
- Provide information to employees in relation to measures which have been implemented
- Provide training to employees in the use of workstations before commencing work with display screen equipment and whenever the organisation of the workstation is modified
- Perform a further analysis or risk assessment where an employee transfers to a new workstation or significant new work equipment, change of equipment or new technology is introduced an an individuals workstation
- Ensure that the provision of an appropriate eye and eyesight test is made available to every employee
How should a workstation analysis or risk assessment be carried out?
There are four stages in the risk assessment process:
Stage 1: Initial consultation with the employee
As a first step you (or the person who is conducting the risk assessment) should consult with the employee at the workstation in order to collect information on the main tasks completed at the workstation. It is important to provide the employee with an opportunity to comment during the course of the assessment.
Stage 2: Observation of the employee working at the computer workstation
You should observe the employee working at the workstation and should record whether the workstation meets the minimum requirements detailed in Schedule 4 of the Display Screen Equipment Regulation. These requirements can be incorporated into the risk assessment form as a checklist and you can indicate compliance or non-compliance as appropriate. The picture below
Who should carry out an analysis or risk assessment of an employees workstation?
A competent person must carry out the risk assessment of an employees workstation. A person is deemed to be competent if he or she possesses sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to conducting a risk assessment of a workstation. Depending on the situation, this may be an internal person or it may be external expertise. You need to be satisfied that the person conducting the risk assessment is capable of doing so properly and effectively.
Is it acceptable to allow employees assess their own workstations?
It is not sufficient to allow employees to use a software package or other means to assess their own workstations, it is a duty of the employer to carry out an analysis or risk assessment of an employees workstation.
Should the analysis or risk assessment of a workstation be documented?
Yes. A documented analysis or risk assessment of a work station should include the following:
- Brief overview of the tasks completed at the workstation
- Evidence that all aspects detailed in Schedule 4 were taken into account as part of the analysis or risk assessment
- Details of issues that need to be followed up
- Details of an action plan to address outstanding issues which stipulates who is responsible, what actions will be taken and when they will be completed.
- A copy of the completed analysis should be given to the employee for their records and for further follow up where required, to ensure all outstanding actions are addressed.