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#1 Posted : 16 February 2001 11:59:00(UTC)
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Posted By Stewart Dugmore
Hello,

Could somebody offer thoughts as to the implications of employees carrying out their own DSE work station assessment?

Thank for your time.

Stewart Dugmore
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#2 Posted : 16 February 2001 17:33:00(UTC)
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Posted By Arran Linton - Smith
If you read paragraph 27, 28 and 29 of the HSE Guidance L26, this identifies who should do the assessments.

It is interesting to read at the beginning of paragraph 28 that "assessments can be made by health and safety personnel, or line managers with, or trained for, these abilities". Paragraph 29 also states that "the views of individual users about their workstations are an essential part of the assessment".

I believe that if you train your employee to undertake their own assessment and you (as H & S personnel or line manager) also check their assessment with them, and the criteria of paragraph 27 is undertaken, then employees can undertake their own assessments.
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#3 Posted : 17 February 2001 07:49:00(UTC)
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Posted By Adrian Watson
My own view for what its worth is that DSE assessments should always be carried out by the user, preferably using the HSE assessment form. Any training necessary to complete the forms should be given by their supervisor.

However, once completed a trained assessor should check forms and investigate any points raised at the DSE station with the user present. If the problem is real it should be rectified and if not advice should be given. In addition to those forms, where the user has reported problems, a small number should be assessed as an audit check.

This system has the following benefits. Firstly, the user learns what points need checking and is part of the assessment process. Secondly, the user sees any problems being dealt with and gets positive feedback. Thirdly, the assessor has only to check the problems and a small number of non-problems. Fourthly, advice is given to those who need it and problems recified in a timely manner.


Regards

Adrian Watson
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#4 Posted : 17 February 2001 21:58:00(UTC)
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Posted By Ken Taylor
I believe it to be the employer's duty to carry out the assessment (either directly or through a manager or health and safety practitioner) in consultation with the DSE user. At the end of the day the employer must 'own' the assessment and any consequences arising from it. Without evidence of a self-assessment being 'owned' by the employer, it could be considered as being only the opinion of the individual employee and, consequently, not having the position in both law and the estimation of management that it deserves. I have tended to adopt a two-stage approach by getting the user to either complete an initial form or respond to a check-list with me and using this as a basis for the employer's assessment on another form completed with the DSE user. These occasions also provide useful training time in DSE and other matters. Individual users do tend to vary in their approach to assessments and there is a need for a fair, independent and consistent approach in risk assessment.
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#5 Posted : 20 February 2001 19:56:00(UTC)
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Posted By David Waterton
Hi for what it is worth I agree with Ken. However, we have trained a number of staff to undertake DSE assessment. The training last for a half day and covers the legislation basic ergonomics and the areas covered by an assessment. A practical demonstration is also included for each assessor and they complete DSE assessments under supervision. The actually DSE assessment is undertaken in the work place by them using a standard check list. They can also make recourse to the department safety officer for additional support and advice. We tend to train clerical/admin staff as they have considerable hands on experience of working with the equipment. In instances where a User is experiencing particular discumfort or signs of muscular problems the department safety officer, who has completed a more in depth training programme on DSE assessment, will tend to undertake that particular assessment. We are also currently in the process of offering designated DSE users an interactive training package on workstation set up, use etc. downloaded from the internet. The cost of, which is minimal..We consider the combination of these a cost effective way to meet our statutory duties and ensure safe working of DSE equipment by our staff

You should also note that the February edition of the "practitioner" has a couple of very good DSE related articals.
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