Colleges are covered by the same health and safety legislation as the rest of the University, so they should have their own arrangements in place to ensure their staff are risk assessed, as necessary. The staff member should consult their college first to determine if they are able to complete the relevant DSE assessment and adjustments. If it is decided that the individual’s work comes under the auspices of the department, and not the college, then the University policy on DSE related ‘remote working’ may apply. University policy S8/09 states:
“Certain employees have the discretion to work away from the University, often at home or within colleges, using computing equipment. Departments and institutions with employees who work at these remote workstations must ensure the following:
(a) Where any individual has been provided with University equipment, it should comply with the requirements of this Policy and should be maintained in a safe condition. “Safe condition” means that the screen must not flicker and the equipment, including the flexes and plugs, must be physically intact.
(b) All individuals who use computing equipment, which may be their own, must arrange their equipment such that risk from trips over cabling or flexes is minimised.
(c) If usage is to the extent that the individuals become “users” for the purpose of their employment in locations away from their normal workstation, they must have the risks of using the equipment and the risk control measures explained to them. However, it is not intended that DSE assessors should make visits to remote locations.
(d) Users will be personally responsible for:
- Arranging their equipment and workstations in accordance with the diagram in Appendix 2 and taking regular short breaks.
- Arranging a timely repair if their computer screen flickers or their equipment, including the flexes and plugs, become physically damaged.
- Reporting, without delay, to their line manager any personal discomfort, e.g. tingling sensations or pains in their hands or forearms or necks, thought to be associated with the use of the workstation.
- These points must be emphasized as part of the formal training of these users and training records must be maintained.
- If ill health symptoms are identified, the line manager must refer the individual, without delay, to the Occupational Health Service. The Regulations apply to users of DSE and it is therefore essential, as a first step, for departments/institutions/units (herein referred to as departments) to identify relevant employees. Although the legislation only applies to employees, the interests of postgraduate students should also be taken into account and suitable furniture and working environment provided for them.”