Introduction

It is the University of Bath's policy to provide a safe and healthy environment for members of the University community. This includes specific requirements to assess and manage the risks associated with the use of display screen equipment by workers.

Aims

The purpose of this standard is to provide a means of assessing the hazards which arise from display screen equipment in order to reduce the risk of injury to employees. This should, in turn, reduce the level of sickness or injury and the risk of civil action in respect of back injury, eye strain, headaches or other musculoskeletal problems.

Scope

This standard applies to all University provided fixed and portable display screen equipment used by “users” in the course of their employment. This includes any such equipment used by Postgraduate research students (who are classed as employees for the purposes of this standard) or agency workers who are working under the control of the University. This standard applies to University employees who are contracted to work from other premises (such as homeworkers) or who are using display screen equipment provided by other organisations (e.g. when working as a display screen equipment user at another employer’s premises). Ad hoc home working is not covered by this standard although it is recommended that employees follow the University’s guidance on safe set up and use of Display Screen Equipment.

This standard does not apply to display screen equipment provided for short-period use only, such as display screen equipment associated with some research equipment (e.g. display screens associated with electron microscopes) nor does it apply to equipment provided for undergraduate and postgraduate taught student use. However, in these cases the general requirements for risk assessment will apply and the minimum requirements for computer workstations should be observed so far as is reasonably practicable.

Relevant Legislation

-The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999

-The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1999 (DSE Regulations).

-HSE Guidance to the DSE Regulations Publication L26.

Definitions

User

Any worker (employee or postgraduate research student or agency worker) who habitually uses display screen equipment as a significant part of their normal work.

Eye and eyesight test

This is a ‘sight test’ as defined by legislation and includes a vision test and an eye examination. For computer users, the test should take their work into account. Computer users are entitled to ask their employer to provide an eye and eyesight test. The University has arrangements for reimbursing relevant users for the cost of this test, and for contributing to the cost of glasses if they are required specifically for computer use. Agency workers at the University are excluded from this provision as their employing agency is responsible for these costs.

Local Workstation Assessor

Faculties, Departments and teams may informally appoint one or more staff members to undertake assessments or monitor self-assessments for groups of staff and research students. These individuals will be confirmed as local assessors once they have undertaken the relevant training provided by UHSE. A list of current local workstation assessors can be found on the UHSE wiki.

Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

Means a device or equipment that has an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process involved; it includes both conventional display screens and those used in emerging technologies such as laptops, touch-screens, smart phones and other similar devices.

Workstation

This includes display screen equipment such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse, telephone, modem, printer, chair, desk and the immediate working environment.

Portable IT equipment

This includes any portable DSE and all ancillary equipment used with it such as laptop stands, earphones, capacitance pens, etc.

Home workers

Home workers are those individuals who work at home by formal agreement with the University either as stated in their contract of employment or as a long-term reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010. Where an assessment identifies that equipment or software is required in order to achieve an ergonomically safe workstation set up, it is the responsibility of the employing School, Faculty, Department or Directorate to provide this.

Individuals who choose to work from home on an occasional basis are excluded from this definition, although it would be prudent for them to follow the standard so far as they are reasonably able.

Responsibilities for implementation

Deans, Heads of Departments, Directors and Line managers are responsible for ensuring that their reports complete a DSE risk assessment and that any identified control measures are implemented. Individual users also have responsibility for implementing aspects of this standard that relate to their use of their workstation. A full description of responsibilities is provided in the Safe Use of DSE Standard.

Training

Guidance notes and a toolkit are available via the UHSE Wiki. UHSE provides training on request for local workstation assessors. Contact UHSE for details.