Since the Coronavirus outbreak, millions of workers have suddenly been thrust into a home working environment with little time to prepare. Given the indefinite time scale of the current situation, it’s imperative that both employers and employees are aware of Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations and the potential musculoskeletal disorders associated with home working during Coronavirus.
Setting up your desk area
Many employees may be improvising with kitchen tables, sofas or even patio furniture as they create a home working environment. The HSE DSE checklist provides a really useful guide to assess the suitability of your home working environment. When working through the checklist it’s important to note there are several caveats to the advice. For example, a separate keyboard is required; except when this is impractical (the need for portability for instance). Our advice during these unprecedented times, is to use the checklist as guide to making your work environment as safe as possible, but be practical about the limitations.
Key points for your work station
- Is your screen or monitor at (or slightly below) eye level?
- Is your chair a suitable height for your work space and / or is it adjustable?
- Are you able to operate the mouse with a relaxed arm, straight wrist and without over reaching?
- Take regular breaks. Get up and walk around for 5-10 minutes every hour.
Practical ideas and suggestions
Look around your home for resources that can aid your working setup. For example, a screen could be raised by stacking coffee table books or a few board game boxes. Struggling to find a suitable chair? Perhaps you could take your usual office chair home for the duration of the outbreak. In these unprecedented, yet temporary times, thinking outside the box is key.
Report any problems
Employees and employers should regularly discuss home working stations and any concerns or issues, should be reported and logged. It could be that a desk needs to be ordered, or temporarily moved from another location. Or perhaps access to a home desk is limited due to school closures, so working hours may need adjusting. Keeping communication open will help both remedy and prevent issues arising from home working during Coronavirus.
Need further advice?
We are here to support you throughout this outbreak and should you need any advice or guidance, please do get in touch.