31 March 2020

A Short Guide to Working Remotely: Part 2 – Display Screen Equipment


Whilst organisations should try and ensure employees have the right Display Screen Equipment (DSE) and furniture to work remotely, these are clearly exceptional circumstances.

It will be virtually impossible for all businesses to provide all employees now required to work from home with all of the equipment you would expect to find in a normal office environment. Temporary homeworkers are therefore going to be exposed to increased risks from the use of DSE.

Employees can help reduce the risks by trying to implement as much of the following guidance as possible:

Work area

  • Ensure you have a suitable, tidy and quiet area to work from
  • Check the electrical cables and equipment are safe and in good condition – do not overload sockets
  • Ensure that the lighting, temperature and humidity is suitable

DSE set-up

  • Adjust your chair and DSE to find the most comfortable position for your work. As a broad guide, your arms should be approximately horizontal and your eyes at the same height as the top of the DSE monitor
  • Make sure there is enough space underneath your desk to move your legs freely. Move any obstacles such as boxes or equipment
  • Avoid excess pressure on the backs of your legs and knees
  • Adjust your keyboard and screen to get a good keying and viewing position. A space in front of the keyboard is helpful for resting the hands and wrists while not keying
  • Don’t bend your hands up excessively at the wrist when keying. The wrist should be slightly flexed to keep a soft touch on the keys. Don’t overstretch your fingers; good keyboard technique is important
  • Keep your desk tidy and make sure you have enough work space to hold whatever documents you need
  • Arrange your desk and screen so that bright lights are not reflected in the screen. You shouldn’t be directly facing windows or bright lights. Adjust curtains or blinds to prevent unwanted light
  • Make sure the characters on your screen are sharply focussed and can be read easily
  • Make sure there are no layers of dirt, grime or finger marks on the screen
  • Use the brightness control on the screen to suit the lighting conditions in the room

Other simple steps you can take to reduce the risks from display screen work:

  • Break up long spells of DSE work with rest breaks (at least 5 minutes every hour) or changes in activity
  • Avoid awkward, static postures by regularly changing position
  • Get up and moving, and try and do stretching exercises
  • Avoid eye fatigue by changing focus from time to time

Source: Broker Briefcase

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