Display screen equipment (DSE) is the term given to work tools such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. There are regulations in place to protect DSE users who work with these devices for more than an hour at a time. These regulations are the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.
Under the Regulations, a range of different types of workers are protected. This includes those using DSE at a fixed workstation; home workers; mobile workers and staff who hot-desk.
In line with the Regulations, employers are required to conduct a DSE workstation risk assessment, following which they must take steps to reduce any identified risks and cover the cost of an eye test when asked. Employers must also provide information and training for DSE users.
Poor posture related compensation claims
Poor posture related compensation claims are on the rise, and this is because poor workstation posture can lead to back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders.
If you have found yourself suffering from back, neck, shoulder or wrist pain, or have experienced other symptoms whilst working such as tingling and numbness, but on reporting it your employer has failed to take steps to remedy the problem, you may have a case against them.
You may also have a case if you have not been provided with a workstation risk assessment, or if any risks identified during an assessment were not attended to, and you have as a result suffered a musculoskeletal injury from work or a back injury at work caused by poor working conditions.
How to tell if I can claim for poor posture at work?
The following information should assist you in determining your rights concerning poor workstation posture and will help you decide whether you are eligible to make a claim for a work related upper limb injury, lower limb injury or back disorder
1. Have you been provided with a DSE workstation risk assessment?
2. Did your risk assessment cover all of the following…
- Your optimal desk level?
- How you sit at your desk?
- Your working preferences (e.g. sit, stand or both)?
- The type of chair in which you are most comfortable (e.g. arm/head rests or no arm/head rests, wheels or static, etc.)?
- The height of your computer monitor?
- Any specific needs you may have (e.g. disability, pregnancy, etc.)?
3. If your workstation has changed (e.g. new computer, additional monitor added, change of desk, office move, etc.), have you been provided with a new workstation risk assessment?
4. Have you been given health and safety information and training on the use of display screen equipment? Did it include…
- How to adopt good posture?
- How to adjust chairs and desks?
- How to arrange your desk space?
- How to adjust lighting and screens to reduce glare and prevent reflections?
- How to apply for an eye test?
- Taking regular breaks or changing activity on a regular basis?
- How to report issues and concerns?
5. Has your employer agreed to pay for an eye test on your request?
If your answer to any of the above is negative and you are now as a result suffering from for example a back, neck or shoulder injury caused by poor working conditions, then there may be a case for claiming compensation.
How to claim compensation for poor posture at work
If you are suffering a work related upper limb injury or have sustained a back injury at work caused by poor working conditions, then if your employer is found to be in breach of duty, you could be entitled to compensation to help expedite your recovery and cover any losses you have suffered.
Seth Lovis & Co. is a widely respected city based law firm with a specialist team dedicated to work related compensation claims for musculoskeletal disorders, including those caused by poor posture at work. Our aim is to achieve the highest possible awards for our clients to help get them back doing the things they enjoy and of course able to work in comfort, with all their losses covered.