How To Improve Work-Related Health & Safety In 2023

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Work-related health and safety: how the workplace environment can be improved in 2023

Are you concerned about the health and safety of your DSE workers? Whether your team is office-based or remote, work-related health and safety is as much a concern for desk workers as it is for those in other industries. With so many of us experiencing musculoskeletal issues, upper limb disorders, eye strain, and discomfort, it’s safe to say that improvements to the workplace environment would be very welcome.

But how do you go about bringing those positive changes? Read on to discover how you can help your team wellbeing, working more safely, comfortably, and productively in 2023.

Why do workplaces need to improve health and safety standards?

According to annual HSE health and safety statistics, the UK saw 0.5 million work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases in 2021/22. To put that into context further, that led to the loss of 7.3 million working days.

Although these statistics are lower than the reported rates during the height of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, it still indicates that employers need to take greater care in providing workers with suitable workstation set-ups. Why? Well, in many cases, musculoskeletal issues, including backache and shoulder pain, can be prevented with the right desk set-up and resources. 

By carrying out workstation assessments and providing your team with ergonomic equipment, you can reduce the risk of discomfort and common desk injuries.

How can you improve health and safety in your workplace?

So, what actions can you take to make sure this year’s health and safety statistics take a step in the right direction?

Understand DSE regulations

The first step is to understand what your legal obligations are. By recognising the frameworks you need to work to, you can make sure your company is DSE compliant. As an employer, it’s your legal responsibility to not only carry out DSE workstation assessments but also to reduce risks. 

Reducing risks can include investing in ergonomic equipment and ensuring your employees take regular screen breaks. You also have a duty to provide eye tests if your team members request them.

Appoint a dedicated person

It can be helpful to appoint a dedicated person to oversee health and safety within your workplace. This person will be able to have an overarching view of your offices’ set-up and ensure the right improvements are made. Having one person in charge makes it easier to implement systematic changes — with too many people involved, things may get complicated and crucial amends could be missed.

If you have an internal health and safety specialist, they can arrange DSE assessments and oversee the results. Alternatively, you could look into training an employee to take on the role. Our free DSE Assessor Training will equip your staff with the knowledge they need to carry out workstation assessments in-house. We always ensure our training is up to date with the latest Health and Safety Executive guidance so your business can remain compliant.

Alternatively, we offer a Fully Managed DSE Service. We’ll take the lead and act as your business’s dedicated DSE account administrator and assessor. You’ll benefit from our expertise without having to add extra headcount to your team. Get in touch to learn more. 

Offer your employees information and resources

Do your team members understand the risks associated with display screen equipment (DSE)? Under HSE guidelines, all employers must provide DSE workers with health and safety training and information.

You could, for instance, display posters covering topics such as good posture, chair adjustment, and how to adjust lighting and screens to avoid glare. You also need to ensure your employees know how to report any DSE-related problems. Again, this is where having a dedicated health and safety expert could come in handy as a single point of contact.

Provide mental health and wellbeing support

Health and safety isn’t just about physical comfort. While this is, of course, vital, a holistic approach will look at mental health and wellbeing, too. 

In 2021/22, a huge 914,000 employees reported work-related stress, fatigue, depression or anxiety, leading to a loss of 17 million working days. A common feature in all industries, it’s essential to take mental health issues seriously and offer employees support. 

Wellbeing support can come in many forms. From setting up regular one-to-one check-ins to arranging workplace mindfulness sessions and desk massage days, there are plenty of ways to reduce the impact of workplace stress, depression, and anxiety. 

Act quickly

Has an employee flagged any issues with DSE strain or pain? If so, it’s vital to act quickly to prevent the issue from getting worse. Many musculoskeletal issues and upper limb disorders can worsen over time and become chronic. If you carry out a workstation assessment right away, you can resolve the problem before it becomes serious.

Carry out regular DSE assessments

One of the best ways to prevent workplace injuries is to carry out regular workstation DSE risk assessments. As mentioned, you have a legal responsibility to conduct DSE assessments — firstly for any new starters, but also any time your employees change workstations or undergo any physical changes (including pregnancy or injury). You may find that some employees may require in-depth ergonomic workstation assessments if they have any underlying health conditions.

And don’t forget your remote workers! If you have employees who work from home or hot desk, you’re still responsible for their health and safety. This also includes people who work for your company internationally, so make sure that you are up to date with the regulations in their country of residence too.

Workplace health and safety support from DSE experts

As the UK’s top provider of DSE assessments, the team at Workhappy have the knowledge and expertise to carry out in-depth reviews of your staff’s workstations. With a range of workstation assessments on offer, including online DSE self-assessments suitable for remote and hybrid workers, we can ensure your business is 100% DSE compliant. 

If you want to really give your team’s work-related health and safety a boost, why not take the holistic approach and look at our nutrition and mindfulness workshops?

We’re here to help your team work more safely, comfortably and productively. Get in touch today to discuss your DSE assessment needs.