Do employees require a risk assessment on how to work and interact with the computer and desk set up and how they use the assigned equipment safely and efficiently?

In today’s business world in Ireland, using computers has become really important. Computers are now crucial for storing and sharing information effectively. As technology keeps improving and more industries go digital, businesses of all kinds rely heavily on computers. Whether it’s big companies or small ones just starting out, everyone needs computers to handle their data. So, working with computers has become a fundamental part of how Irish companies operate.

The necessity for training, whether it’s VDU/DSE Awareness Training or any other type, hinges on conducting a thorough risk assessment within the context of the Safety Statement. Factors such as the nature of the business, risk level (low, medium, high), number of employees, work nature, hazard level, accident occurrence, workplace size, location, employee distribution, and shift patterns must all be considered.

Chapter 5 of Part 2: Display Screen Equipment (VDU/DSE) states that all staff members must undergo training and be provided with a risk assessment if they use DSE on a regular basis as part of normal work activities”. The HSA has indicated that typically those employees that fall into the category of being a DSE user will typically work on DSE for around an hour so, a regular basis.

So let’s say somebody in the warehouse does order picking and they jump onto a computer at a workstation every few hours but only input a little bit of information, then it doesn’t apply to them. So effectively every employee works in an office are to be provided with training and a risk assessment.

In Ireland, under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, there are requirements regarding VDU/DSE (Visual Display Unit/Display Screen Equipment) ergonomics awareness training and workstation assessments.

  1. VDU/DSE Awareness Training:
    • The legislation mandates that all employees who regularly use VDU/DSE equipment as a significant part of their work must receive ergonomic awareness training.
    • This training aims to educate employees on proper workstation setup, posture, breaks, and other ergonomic considerations to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders.
  2. VDU/DSE Workstation Assessment:
    • Employers are required to conduct workstation assessments for employees who use VDU/DSE equipment for significant periods as part of their job.
    • These assessments involve evaluating the ergonomic setup of the workstation, including chair height, monitor positioning, keyboard and mouse placement, lighting, etc.
    • Employees identified as needing adjustments to their workstation setup based on the assessment should receive appropriate support and modifications.

It’s important for employers to ensure compliance with these regulations to promote the health and safety of their employees who work with VDU/DSE equipment. Additionally, providing proper training and conducting workstation assessments can contribute to increased productivity and well-being in the workplace.

For more information on the Guide to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, specifically Chapter 5 of Part 2: Display Screen Equipment please see attached: display_screen.pdf.