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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about. If you can’t find yours please use the contact form or ring us on 01784 477780.

Who are DSE Risk Assessment UK?

‘DSE Risk Assessment UK’ is an online arm of Visual-Q Ltd focused on DSE Risk Assessment Software, Healthy Working® from Cardinus

Visual-Q Ltd are a family business established in 2002 (Company registration No: 4510103) based west of London in the village of Englefield Green. We provide Mercado Medic specialist disability seating and DSE (Health & Safety) workplace assessments. We also act as ambassadors of the Standivarius brand of ergonomic computer accessories in the UK.

Our experience particularly in the field of seating and ergonomics has enabled us to form special relationships with these renowned manufacturers who are looking to add value to their products with our specific expertise and commitment to the highest levels of customer service.

What are the DSE regulations?

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 place specific requirements on employers with the aim of protecting workers from the health risks associated with using DSE.

What is DSE?

DSE stands for Display Screen Equipment. This refers to equipment which has a graphic or alphanumeric display screen and includes pcs, laptops, tablets, touch screens and similar devices.

What is a DSE assessment?

A DSE assessment is also known as a VDU assessment, a desk assessment or a workstation assessment. Anyone who is regularly using a display screen/computer at work should have one.

What is on a DSE assessment form?

Our standard DSE assessment form follows the format recommended by the Health & Safety Executive and covers the hazards that need to be considered in categories such as posture, the chair, screen, keyboard, mouse, software, furniture and environment.

As the original regulations dates from 1992 (with minor update in 2002) much of the technology referred to has moved on so we now use the form as a framework to identify and correct a whole manner of issues that are not specifically covered in the original text. To complete the form, the assessor will need to consider each category and note any hazards and risks. A signed-off form provides useful evidence of compliance with regulations.

What is a workstation assessment?

A workstation refers to equipment which has a graphic or alphanumeric display screen and includes pcs, laptops, touch screens, tablets and similar devices along with the chair, desk, keyboard, mouse, peripherals and general working environment.

A workstation assessment is the same as a VDU assessment, a DSE assessment or a desk assessment. Anyone who is regularly using a display screen/computer at work should have one.

A workstation assessment is the ideal way to identify issues with the desk set-up. A basic or standard assessment is suitable for most people. Someone who is experiencing pain or who has specific need may consider an advanced or specialist assessment.

What is an ergonomic assessment?

Ergonomics is the science of designing everyday products around the user in order to improve usability and optimise the user’s wellbeing. In an office environment, ergonomics would generally refer to the way a worker interacts with office furniture and equipment e.g. workstation including pcs, laptops, tablets, touch screens, tablets and similar devices along with the chair, desk, input devices, peripherals and general working environment.

An ergonomic assessment for an office worker is essentially the same as a DSE assessment, VDU assessment, a desk assessment or a workstation assessment. Anyone who is regularly using a display screen/computer at work should have one.

An ergonomic assessment is the ideal way to identify issues with the desk set-up. A basic or standard assessment is suitable for most people. Someone who is experiencing pain or who has specific need may consider an advanced or specialist assessment.

What is a desk assessment

A desk assessment is the same as a workstation, DSE or VDU assessment. A desk assessment will include an assessment of the computer/display screen along with the chair, desk, keyboard, mouse, peripherals and general working environment.

What is a VDU assessment?

VDU stands for Visual Display Unit. This refers to equipment which has a graphic or alphanumeric display screen and includes pcs, laptops, touch screens and similar devices.

A VDU assessment is the same as a DSE assessment, desk or a workstation assessment. Anyone who is regularly using a display screen/computer at work should have one.

A VDU assessment is the ideal way to identify issues with the desk set-up. A basic or standard assessment is suitable for most people. Someone who is experiencing pain or who has specific need may consider an advanced or specialist assessment.

Do all DSE users need an assessment?

Yes, if they use DSE for their work. The Regulations do not apply to users who use DSE infrequently or for less than an hour a day.

How long does a DSE assessment take?

We offer a range of assessments for the differing needs of users. A standard DSE assessment takes around 15-20 minutes. For users with more complex needs, an assessment may take longer.

What training and advice should be given?

Alongside the assessment each user should also be given advice and training regarding the following:

posture
adjusting chairs and other furniture
arranging desk space
adjusting screens and lighting to avoid reflections and glare
breaks and changes of activity
risk assessments
how to report problems

How often do I need a DSE assessment?

When major changes occur, the DSE must be reviewed and, if necessary, reassessed. Changes in circumstance may include a change of task, a change of workstation or equipment or a change in the user’s circumstances.

Can I carry out a DSE self-assessment?

Using our online system, you can complete a comprehensive tutorial on DSE set-up and then carry out an online DSE Assessment which will then provide you with tailored advice to help you solve any straightforward DSE-related issues you may have. It is important that the assessment is then reviewed by a competent person who can offer advice on how to reduce any other risks that are identified.

What about other hand-held devices such as Blackberry or Smart Phone?

Users should be given sufficient training and information so that these items are used correctly and do not pose hazard to the user. ‘PDAs’ (as such devices were known when the regulations were last updated) are covered by the DSE Regulations and all new DSE equipment must be assessed for hazards and possible risks as per Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998)

We use a lot of laptops in our company – what should we do?

Laptop users are particularly vulnerable to problems related to posture and also manual handling. If a location other that the office is used regularly, then it should be assessed as a ‘workstation’ in its own right. Advice, training and specialist equipment should be given to laptop users so that they can work safely wherever the laptop is used.

Can I use DSE if I am pregnant?

You can safely work with display screen equipment if you’re pregnant. Scientific studies have not shown any link between miscarriages or birth defects and working with DSE.

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