DSE Courses What We Do Office Chairs Furniture Accessories Resources Blog
Home » Health & Safety » Basic DSE Essentials

Keep it simple.

Meeting the requirements of a basic DSE assessment should be simple; after all the key components are generic to most office workers, so why over complicate it? Reducing the variety of different solutions can save money as well as aid training in the use of the equipment which will result in improved DSE compliance and employee engagement.

workstations under the magnifier

We all recognise the potential for harm from a poorly designed workstation but the key to success when choosing your ergonomic essentials, is to understand the end user requirements as well as the design features of products so that you can employ the most appropriate solutions. Now, you might think that is easy for us to say as we do this every day, but you may not have the time to keep updated on the latest product configurations e.g. laptop/tablet stands or the difference between synchronised and multi-tilt seat mechanisms. In light of this, many organisations continue to make poor purchasing decisions with valuable resources going to waste. If you regularly encounter similar issues or concerns, then we can help you establish a ‘go-to list’ of ergonomic essentials.

Although agreeing on a set list of pre-approved products won’t necessarily cover every eventuality, it will aid prevention and help resolve common issues such as torso aches, neck and eye strain with the majority of users. It also makes it easier to redeploy items when employees move or leave the organisation, as well as easing demand for training on use of different or new equipment.

Spend wisely.

CalculatingNo business has endless pots of money, and we are increasingly expected to ‘do more with less’. One of the many ways you can help achieve this is to buy your office equipment in quantity. Bulk-buying doesn’t necessarily mean purchasing 100 units at a time (not with us anyway) but in some cases as little as 5. Purchasing your frequently-bought items in larger amounts will not only save money but will also enable immediate issue of remedial solutions from you own stock. That’s what you call a win, win situation!

Minimum Standard.

Our focus at our recent workshops ‘Tackling the Rise of office Pain’ in Cardiff and Swansea was to urge departmental collaboration. By bringing together knowledge of actual (rather than perceived) end user requirements with the fiscal controls of a trusted supply chain must surely reap rewards for all concerned. Those responsible for resolving issues arising from DSE assessments will often be challenged to improve the situations you encounter, yet the budget may well have been already spent on equipment which does not work in harmony with the other workstation items, or more worryingly, with the user. Furthermore they rarely have any financial resources to then purchase alternative products to remedy the problem.

While the facilities department may be able to provide a DSE compliant footrest (for example) or office chair, price will undoubtedly be high up in their primary selection criteria yet other, vital factors are unlikely to be considered at all; for example whether the footrest should be height adjustable or if the ‘standard’ gas stem is in fact high enough in relation to the desk. On the other hand procurement specialists will establish the availability, ease of purchase and price of each item and then are likely to simply re-order the product when requested. They may not receive any worthwhile feedback. The issue here is that when DSE equipment is bought in isolation it may not offer the optimum results, or be adaptable to meet changing needs. The same can often be said of IT hardware so a collaborative approach should also apply here, too.

Let's Work Together Chalk Illustration

Consider regular safety meetings with representatives from procurement, facilities and I.T. departments as well as occupational health & safety technicians. Whilst they are all experts in their field, they rarely come together to create a shortlist of key attributes that workstation equipment should meet; a ‘minimum standard’ agreement. Yet, this cross-department discussion will not only assist in resolving current issues but it will also engender proactive, forward planning for new projects; helping you to get it right, first time.

Results: Improved compliance, improved staff welfare, improved bottom line!

Further advice?

We have helped many organisations establish a Basic Essentials list of everyday office essentials. Our extensive knowledge of the product market together with our core business of completing workplace assessments makes HWS a sound source of advice in this regard. Request a Free consultation to find out more.

Leave a Reply