Office Manager’s Q&A on DSE assessment

A workstation or display screen equipment assessment is essential for anyone who uses DSE as part of their job. Because Office Managers will sometimes have responsibility for this, it’s important that support and advice is available. Bureaunomics Sales Manager, Michael George, joined a Q&A session on The Office Management Portal. Find out what Office Managers want to know about DSE and how Bureaunomics can help.

What should we prioritise for home workers and hybrid workers to ensure their workstations are set up correctly?

This was a grey area even before Covid, but best practice is that each workstation is assessed if it is to be used for a prolonged period.

With hybrid/flexible/hot-desking the training of how to set up a workstation is really important. Demonstrating this has been achieved will ensure your staff are capable to set up their workstation to its optimum position daily, no matter which desk they sit at. We offer a personalised demo video service for our clients so that new starters or hot-desk users have the information they need to get set up quickly and correctly every time.

Bureaunomics client set up video

Are businesses responsible for providing the right equipment or can they allocate a budget for team members to purchase their own?

Again, really grey area and is determined by the contract of the employee and the culture of the company. Short answer is no.’ If they are a contracted homeworker then equipment needs to be provided. If not, and a hybrid set-up has been adopted, then there is no obligation to provide this

Companies are taking various approaches to this question. Some are providing homeworking equipment at a fixed budget and others are stating that if you are not comfortable at home then you have the option of the office.

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I struggle to get people to return their DSE form even after sending reminders. If they subsequently develop backpain, where do we stand legally?

The software route is recommended, especially if you’re concerned about individuals not completing assessments and then making a claim. Most e‑learning tools provide you with a full audit trail so that you can prove that you provided the assessment, chased the employee (time and date stamped) yet they did not action it. Therefore, the blame cannot be left on you. In the meantime, I would always log when the forms are originally sent and log follow-up emails too.

How should we support a team member who has a pre-existing condition like a back injury or wrist/​arm injury?

As a duty of care to employees suffering from muscular-skeletal conditions it is advisable to provide them with a higher level of assessment where equipment can be recommended to help reduce the discomfort and pain. Most providers offer a free trial of the product to ensure that it works and suits the user

I have an employee with a running injury who has requested a raising desk at home and when in the office. What should I do?

One thing to remember is that the legislation states that an assessment must be conducted whenever there is a change to the workstation or the muscular-skeletal condition of the employee. So, if someone reports an injury or highlight, they are pregnant (as this is a change) it is important to conduct an assessment. What level of assessment should also be considered — whether it is a compliant assessment, problem solving assessment or a medical assessment.

Every business should have a company policy on this, and our consultancy service can work with you to develop one.

Is it ok to ask employees (home and office-based employees) to do their own DSE assessments if they have all the knowledge, they need to know the correct set up for them? We have a lot of employees so for them to be able to do it themselves would be useful.

Yes, The legislation states that a competent individual can do a self-assessment. If you can prove that they have received sufficient training, then self-assessments are perfectly fine to conduct

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Is there an online questionnaire or company people recommend using?

There are various providers that can provide an e‑learning tool for DSE. Bureaunomics has partnered with a business provider and in our opinion, it is the best in the market. Not just from a learning tool for end users but also as a managing and reporting system for those responsible of managing DSE.

Is there any DSE Assessment checklist for us to go through with people working hybrid/​HW while assessing their home set-up or hot desks?

You can download our DSE checklist here

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