Those who use computers or other visual display equipment continuously as part of their work are entitled to have their workstation risk assessed. The employer had a duty to ensure that the employee’s workstation is set up correctly. Now that more employees are working from home, it is vital to ensure that their workstation is set up in a manner conducive to safe working.
The aim of carrying out the workstation risk assessment is to reduce the risk work related upper limb disorders such as musculoskeletal and repetitive strain injuries.
There is a legal requirement to carry out a risk assessment for most employees who use computers or similar equipment, but perhaps most importantly the risk assessment helps make sure the employee is using their workstation as safely as possible.
The regulations state that the employer must arrange a risk assessment if:
We can carry out a full assessment of the employees desk and workstation. We will watch the employee working at their normal activities. If needed, we will then suggest some adjustments to make the workstation more safe and comfortable.
In accordance with the 2007 Regulations, Lighting, Humidity and Temperature levels must be compliant, we can assess these levels and suggest adjustments if necessary
We will advise the employees in relation to assessment which have been carried out and any actions they should take on an ongoing basis thereafter.
When an employee moves to a new workstation, or is using new equipment we can provide an updated risk assessment. If the employee is experiencing any possible work related issues that may be due to their workstation it should be reassessed. This also applies if the employee’s health changes, such as if they suffer an injury, and they require a reassessment.
These assessments are required regardless of the person’s place of work. The responsibility to ensure the assessment has been carried out rests with the employer regardless of the employee’s place of work – e.g. working from home, hotdesking, shared offices.
Eye tests must be made available to all employees who by the nature of work uses a VDU, the cost of which must be funded by the employer unless this is covered by the Employee’s Social Welfare Contributions.
Online self assessment is not an acceptable method of VDU or Workstation assessment. Online training or e-learning can be used to supplement the information given to the employee during their in-person assessment, and may be beneficial in certain cases while waiting for an assessment (e.g. when the employee has just moved desks).