The importance of DSE Workstation Assessments

What is ergonomics?

“Ergonomics is the scientific study of people and their working conditions, especially in order to improve effectiveness.” And to use the word in a context, “The ergonomics of the new office furniture has reduced eyestrain and back problems among the computer users.”

Through a methodical and structured approach, Irongate’s DSE goal is to help you fulfill your legal obligation and ensure the comfort and well-being of your employees. This minimises absence through sickness and reduces inefficiency associated with employee discomfort. Additionally our service frees you from the time consuming burden of carrying out these obligatory assessments and negates the need for you to take valuable employees out of the business to have them trained to carry them out themselves.


To quote Humanscale, the premier designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve health and comfort at work,

By applying ergonomics to their work environments, companies can experience a ripple effect of the benefits. When a company takes a proactive approach to employee safety and well-being, employees take notice of this active stance on their wellness. They report higher levels of job satisfaction and show higher commitment levels. Employees’ positive reaction to this demonstrated care for their health yields a variety of benefits, such as decreased turnover rates and better work quality, as well as improved output, engagement and morale.  When employees are more committed to a company, they are more productive and even display more initiative and effort in the tasks performed.  As a result of higher employee engagement, satisfaction and productivity, the company projects an improved corporate image, which may lead to better community relationships and a more impactful brand.  A growing body of evidence suggests that the presence of an organisational-wide approach to health and wellness has long-term financial implications. The National Business Group on Health recently found that employers that have health and productivity programmes are able to reduce disability days between 10% and 35%, improve return to work rates by at least 6% and experience an ROI ranging from 3:1 to 15:1.”

Irongate’s interiors team is qualified to carry out assessments, but whilst some organisations charge, our service to customers is completely complimentary. Why not invite Irongate into your business and start saving now?

Irongate can enhance your office environment and supply any or all of the of the components required at a modern workstation; desking, seating, lighting, monitor arms, acoustic screens, keyboards, mice, foot rests, storage. We can help you maximise the use of available space, provide 2D and 3D plans and suggest options. From quirky to corporate, everything will be compliant.

As an employer you need to carry out DSE assessments because you have a legal obligation under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

  1. General duty to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees.
  2. Provision of machinery and equipment that is without risk to health.
  3. Provision of information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure employees health and safety at work.

Here’s the “Six Pack” of regulations that all employers will be aware of:

  • Management of health and safety at work (1999)
  • Provision and use of work equipment (1998)
  • Manual handling regulations (1992)
  • Workplace health, safety and welfare regulations (1992)
  • Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992)
  • * Work with display screen equipment: Health and Safety (DSE) Regulations (1992)

*This is where Irongate Group’s DSE workstation seating assessment can have significant impact. Our knowledge of seating and how chairs can and need to be adjusted to suit the individual, is second to none.


Requirements for Workstations

An employer must ensure the following components are present at every DSE workstation:

  • Adequate lighting, contract, no glare
  • Distracting noise minimised
  • Ample legroom and clearance to allow postural changes
  • Window covering if required to reduce glare
  • Appropriate software to task
  • Screen; stable image, adjustable, readable, glare and reflection free
  • Keyboard: usable, adjustable, detachable, legible
  • Work surface: with space for flexible arrangement of equipment, and documents, glare free
  • Chair: stable and adjustable
  • Footrest if user needs one

Ergonomics is about all the above working together in a micro-environment with the employee and his or her duties, so DSE assessments naturally have to consider the complete workstation. The chair is clearly a key component and a badly adjusted, inappropriate or damaged chair can have a significantly negative effect on the user.

Common disorders include

  • RSI  – Repetitive Strain Injury
  • CTD  – Cumulative Trauma Disorder
  • WRULDWork  – Work Related Upper Limb Disorder
  • OOS – Occupational Overuse Syndrome
  • MSD  – Musculo-skeletal disorders
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Epicondylitis -Tennis Elbow
  • Prolapsed (slipped) disc
  • Osteoarthritis

Symptoms of disorder include

  • Lower/upper back pain
  • Neck/Shoulder pain
  • Sciaitica
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • General feeling of lethargy, irritability
  • Pins and needles
  • Shooting/stabbing pains
  • Impaired movement
  • Swelling, soreness and stiffness

What can you do?

It’s important to sit straight on to your workstation, head upright, shoulders relaxed, upper arms by your side, elbows at right angles just above desk height, forearms parallel to the floor, a 90 degree plus angle between your trunk and thighs (open angle) with thighs sloping slightly downwards and knees slightly lower than pelvis, feet flat on the floor or a foot rest.

To find out more contact me on the details below.


Simon Clark - Interiors Specialist
This post was written by
Simon Clark - Interiors Specialist

As one of our Office Interiors experts, Simon’s passion for designing dream workspaces is contagious. With over 25 years experience, you can be confident your project is in safe hands.

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