DSE assessments are now a legal requirement for home workers

For the past two years, many of us have adjusted to a complete change in our working lives by switching to home working and now the latest trend of ‘hybrid working’- splitting time between home and the office.

According to recent statistics, 26 percent of the adult population plan to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally going forward, so it seems that some form of home-based working is the new norm.

But with an increase in people working from home has come a rise in cases of musculoskeletal problems caused by incorrect workstation set-up or lack of sufficient equipment to create an effective workstation. In fact, statistics show that around half a million people suffered from work-related musculoskeletal problems in 2020/21.

Employers have always had a legal duty to carry out Display Screen Equipment (DSE) risk assessments on employers who are office-based, with the purpose of ensuring the health, safety and well-being of their workforce and making sure they have a safe and comfortable environment to work in.

However, the sudden shift to home working left many in limbo about whether or not they are actually entitled to an assessment, resulting in more cases of work-related neck, back and shoulder pain than ever before. So what are the current rules and regulations in relation to your entitlement to an ergonomic risk assessment?

In December, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) officially updated its regulations to also apply to those who work at home on a permanent or long-term basis or routinely split their time between their workplace and home.

This means that you are legally entitled to an assessment if you spend any part of your working week at home and, if you split your time between your home and the office, both workstations should be assessed.

A DSE risk assessment will determine whether the work you do at home can be done safely and will allow you to raise any specific health and safety concerns with your employer. If action is needed, your employer will then be able to make appropriate changes to reduce the risk of work-related pain and discomfort. Further recommendations can also be made to improve working conditions.

So whether you are struggling with discomfort as a result of your working environment or not, speak to your employer about arranging a workstation assessment to make sure you have the right equipment and workstation set-up and whether you need any additional ergonomic support.

For the full details of the new guidance from the HSE, click here.

You can also take a look at our blog about the seven benefits of workstation assessments for both employers and employees to see why it is so important that they are carried out and the benefits they bring.

If you’d like information or advice on DSE workstations assessments, please get in touch with us by visiting our Contact Us page.

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