DSE Assessment

Risk Factors
Keyboards

Is the keyboard separate from the screen?

Action to Take

This is a requirement, unless the task makes it impracticable (e.g. where there is a need to use a portable).

Does the keyboard tilt?

Action to Take

Tilt need not be built in.

Is it possible to find a comfortable keying position?

Action to Take

Try pushing the display screen further back to create more room for the keyboard, hands
and wrists. Users of thick, raised keyboards may need a wrist rest.

Does the user have good keyboard technique?

Action to Take

Training can be used to prevent: hands bent up at the wrist; hitting the keys too hard; overstretching the fingers.

Are the characters clear and readable?

Action to Take

Keyboards should be kept clean. If the characters still can’t be read, the keyboard may need modifying or
replacing. Use a keyboard with a matt finish to reduce glare and/or reflection

Mouse, trackball etc

Is the device suitable for the tasks it is used for?

Action to Take

If the user is having problems, try a different device. The mouse and trackball are general-purpose devices suitable for many tasks, and available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Alternative devices such as touch screens may be better for some tasks (but can be worse for others).

Is the device positioned close to the user?

Action to Take

Most devices are best placed as close as possible, eg right beside the keyboard.

Is there support for the device user’s wrist and forearm?

Action to Take

Support can be gained from, for example, the desk surface or arm of a chair. If not, a separate supporting device may help.

Does the device work smoothly at a speed that suits the user?

Action to Take

See if cleaning is required (eg of mouse ball and rollers). Check the work surface is suitable. A mouse mat may be needed.

Display Screens

Are the characters clear and readable?

Action to Take

Make sure the screen is clean and cleaning materials are available. Check that the text and background colours work well
together.

Is the text size comfortable to read?

Action to Take

Software settings may need adjusting to change text size

Is the image stable, ie free of flicker and jitter?

Action to Take

Try using different screen colours to reduce flicker, eg darker background and lighter text.

Is the screen’s specification suitable for its intended use?

Action to Take

Eg, intensive graphic work or work requiring fine attention to small details may require large display screens.

Are the brightness and/or contrast adjustable?

Action to Take

Separate adjustment controls are not essential, provided the user can read the screen easily at all times.

Dose the screen swivel and tilt?

Action to Take

Swivel and tilt need not be built in; you can add a swivel and tilt mechanism.
However, you may need to replace the screen if: swivel/tilt is absent or unsatisfactory; work is intensive; and/or; the user has problems getting the screen to a comfortable position.

Is the screen free from glare and reflections?

Action to Take

Use a mirror placed in front of the screen to check where reflections are coming from.

Are adjustable window coverings provided and in adequate condition?

Action to Take

Check that blinds work. Blinds with vertical slats can be more suitable than horizontal ones.

Software

Is the software suitable for the task?

Action to Take

Software should help the user carry out the task, minimise stress and be user-friendly. Check users have had appropriate training in using the software.

Furniture

Is the chair adjusted correctly?

Action to Take

The user should be able to carry out their work sitting comfortably. Consider training the user in how to adopt suitable postures
while working.

Is the small of the back supported by the chair’s backrest?

Action to Take

The user should have a straight back, supported by the chair, with relaxed shoulders

Are forearms horizontal and eyes at roughly the same height as the top of the DSE?

Action to Take

Adjust the chair height to get the user’s arms in the right position, and then adjust the DSE height, if necessary

Are feet flat on the floor, without too much pressure from the seat on the backs of the legs?

Action to Take

If not, a footrest may be needed.

Environment

Is there enough room to change position and vary movement?

Action to Take

Space is needed to move, stretch and fidget. Consider re-organising the office layout and check for obstructions. Cables should be tidy and not a trip or snag hazard.

Is the lighting suitable, e.g. not too bright or too dim to work comfortably?

Action to Take

Users should be able to control light levels, e.g. by adjusting window blinds or light switches.

Are forearms horizontal and eyes at roughly the same height as the top of the DSE?

Action to Take

Adjust the chair height to get the user’s arms in the right position and then adjust the DSE height, if necessary

Are feet flat on the floor, without too much pressure from the seat on the backs of the legs?

Action to Take

If not, a footrest may be needed.

Does the air feel comfortable?

Action to Take

DSE and other equipment may dry the air. Circulate fresh air if possible. Plants may help. Consider a humidifier if discomfort is severe.

Are levels of heat comfortable?

Action to Take

Can heating be better controlled? More ventilation or air conditioning may be required if there is a lot of electronic equipment in the room. Or, can users be moved away from the heat source?

Are levels of noise comfortable?

Action to Take

Consider moving sources of noise, e.g. printers, away from the user. If not, consider sound proofing.

Final questions to users

Has the checklist covered all the problems they may have working with their DSE?

Have they experienced any discomfort or other symptoms which they attribute to working with their DSE?

Has the user been advised of their entitlement to eye and eyesight testing?

Does the user take regular breaks working away from DSE?

Use this section to record any additional problems reported by the user

Declaration:
DSE User's Signature
Assessor’s Signature
Date: