Who is responsible for workstation assessments?
As a host employer or an employment agency supplying temporary workers, you both have a responsibility to ensure the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 are adhered to within the workplace.
Just as with your own employees, you have a responsibility to assess and reduce the risks of an agency worker’s workstation.
Tip 1. It’s not acceptable to expect agency staff to work on substandard equipment such as non-adjustable chairs and flimsy temporary tables. As the host employer you are responsible under the Regulations for providing a workstation which meets the minimum legal requirements.
Tip 2. You must also conduct a workstation assessment for the worker and the workstation they use. A workstation includes any PC or laptop, mouse, desk and chair.
Tip 3. If you’re supplying a worker with a laptop to be used for long periods of time, you should also supply them with a mouse, keyboard and possibly a separate screen.
It is the employment agency’s responsibility to provide eye sight test for an agency worker.
It is the agency’s responsibility to provide their workers with DSE training. However, the host employer must provide agency workers with information regarding:
- The outcome of the workstation assessment.
- The risks of using the DSE as well as risk reduction measures.
- Their break entitlements.
Could new fire safety legislation be on the way?
Since the Grenfell fire which occurred in June this year, there has been talk about the introduction of more strict fire safety legislation. This has included sprinkler systems becoming compulsory in certain premises.
This is a possibility, but will not happen instantly. Any changes as a result of the Grenfell fire won’t be made public until facts are established, meaning any changes are likely to be years away.
PVC firm pays £520k after teenager crushed by forklift truck
The manufacturer of PVC products has been fined after an employee of 19 years was killed when the forklift truck he was operating overturned.
The young employee was driving the forklift truck down a sloping road in the early hours of 10 February 2015 when it overturned. He sustained fatal neck and head injuries.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and found that Vinyl Compounds had failed to adequately train the employee, who was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
The company had also failed to inform its workers of the onsite speed limit, had failed to install adequate lighting and edge protection to stop FLTs overturning, and had not implemented measures to control the speed of vehicles, the HSE said.
The firm pleaded guilty to breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. It must pay £71, 778 in addition to the fine.
After the hearing HSE inspector Berian Price said: “The company’s management of forklift truck driving operations and its failure to provide various measures to ensure the safety of the external yard area, coupled with the lack of safe driver measures, such as wearing a seatbelt, exposed employees to serious safety risks.“