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Sample Page from DSE Risk Assessment Check List  

Section 6.  Furniture

Problems to look for



Ways to Reduce the Risk

Action to Take

Is the workspace large enough for all of the equipment relating to your use of the computer and for your paperwork?

Try to keep your desk free from clutter so that you have ample room for the documents you are working on and any equipment you are using.
Would additional power sockets be helpful so that you can reorganise equipment, trailing leads and the like?




Make sure there is space under your desk to move your legs freely. Move any obstacles such as boxes or equipment.


Can you reach all the papers and equipment you need?



Try rearranging your workspace to make it easy to reach the things you use most.  Consider a document holder to make it easier to view documents you are working from and to avoid repetitive lifting and turning of the head. 
Getting up to fetch papers from printers is actually good for you.  It breaks up your time at the screen and stretches your legs.


Are the work surfaces free of glare and reflections



Consider using mats or coverings to reduce glare or moving the furniture.


Is your chair suitable?  Is it stable?  Is it adjustable?  Are you sitting properly?



The chair should be comfortable.  The seat should have an adjustable height.  The seat back should be adjustable in height and tilt.  Does it have coasters or glides?  Are the arms getting in the way of your working comfortably?  Do you know how to adjust it?
The chair might need to be replaced or repaired if you cannot adjust it to make your position comfortable.


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Does the chair support the small of your back?



You should sit straight in the chair and the chair should support the small of your back.



Are your feet touching the floor?



Avoid excess pressure from the edge of your seat on the backs of your legs and knees. A footrest may be helpful, particularly for smaller users.


Are you sitting at the right height?

Your arms should be at about 90° to the table and the screen at eye level.  Adjust the height of the chair to put you in the right position relative to the table and then adjust the screen to bring it into eye level.

Did you know:

Creating and reinforcing
a positive outlook towards
health and safety is part of a successful, positive, can-do business culture

Managers and line managers
and all employees have
an important role to play
and should be consulted

Employees and Managers
are often the first to
know if there is a problem
and the ones most likely
to have a solution

Employees have duties
under the legislation
as well as employers

Employees must take
reasonable care of themselves
and others affected
by their acts or ommissions

The HSE will prosecute
individuals in the management
chain who have neglected their responsibilities or connived or consented to breaches.