Written by Ita Leyden, Managing Director
Most employers are well aware that those who use a computer for more than one hour continuously per day are entitled to have their workstation assessed. To comply with these legal requirements, employers either train in house VDU assessors, or engage external third parties to carry out the assessments. Indeed, LCE are one of those third-party providers of VDU assessments and a provider of training for those who wish to become VDU assessors.
However, LCE are also specialists in the area!
LCE are regularly engaged to carry out assessments when there is a person with a predisposition. It was during a recent assessment for an individual who had such a predisposition, that I felt compelled to write this note. Said person had, as is the case with most people, an assessment carried out by another consultant prior to meeting with me – yet, when I met with them, they were sitting uncomfortably, and they had no idea how to set up their workstation correctly.
The assessment which had been carried out was, in essence, a tick box exercise with little or no engagement with the individual. The assessor had completed a form indicating that the workstation had the required adjustability: Independent key board and mouse- tick; monitor that tilts – tick, height adjustable chair – tick…. You get the picture.
These types of assessments are utterly pointless!
If the person using the workstation does not know how to adjust the tilt or the height there is no point in having that adjustability. The aim of the VDU assessment is to ensure the user has the correct equipment and that it can be set up correctly, by the user! So, my message is, all VDU assessments are not the same………. Some will give employers a false sense of security in respect of legal compliance i.e. they will have the “record” of the assessment, while others will actually benefit the employer and the employee – ensuring employees understand how they need to set up their workstation and most importantly why they should – if an employee is comfortable at their workstation they will be more productive!
We need to stop looking at safety compliance as a paper work exercise… good compliance can add to the bottom line by increasing productivity, improving quality and encouraging buy-in from employees. When engaging consultants, ensure that you are using advisors who are going to contribute to your business and not just complete a paper work exercise!!!
If what you are being quoted seems too good to be true………. It probably is. There is no benefit in carrying out “pointless” DSE assessments!!