Workstation assessments, contracts and spend

1. How do you complete ergonomic/DSE workstation assessments, including to meet the requirements of the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations and make “reasonable adjustments” in line with the Equality Act?

For Corporate members of staff who are classed as ‘Users’ Devon County Council has a dedicated electronic Display Screen Equipment assessment module which, entails a training package (desktop & mobile devices safety), self-assessment risk assessment and follow-up process utilised within.

This package is administered by a dedicated team who manages the process and chases up remedial unresolved actions.

For schools the same package is used, however it is set-up in-house and a dedicated member of the school staff administers the system throughout.

2. What companies do you use for both providing workstation assessments and supplying DSE equipment recommended

The DSE module forms part of an all-encompassing health and safety management system commissioned through Optima (OSHENS).

Equipment is purchased from several providers via a framework agreement.

3. Were these products or services purchased through a tender or framework? If so, which one?

Optima (Oshens) was tendered.

Equipment – via a Framework agreement.

4. Are you under contract with your current supplier(s) for the above assessment/supply services? If so, what is the start and end date of the contract?

Optima (Oshens) was initially commenced in 2010 with the DSE Module being added late 2013.  This is now a rolling 12-month contact.

5. Can you confirm your annual spend on assessments and equipment?

Optima (Oshens) – We consider that release of this information is exempt under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Commercial Interests.  Devon County Council considers releasing the annual spend on assessments and equipment would likely prejudice the commercial interests of any competitors and this would give an unfair advantage.

We have considered the public interest in this case and we acknowledge that there is a public interest in the transparency around public spending, however, we also consider that there is a public interest in allowing businesses to apply for contracts in a competitive environment, and we therefore, consider that the public interest lies in withholding the information.

Equipment – Devon County Council does not record this information in a manner that can be easily extracted from our systems.  Each individual service purchase required equipment direct, therefore, in order to provide an answer we would have to check each invoice / spend per provider.  We estimate that to carry out this exercise would exceed the cost limit of £450 (equating to over 18 hours of time).

For this reason we believe that Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act applies (cost of compliance exceeds the Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004.

6. Can you provide contact details for the person(s) responsible in procurement?

Gavin Punchard (

7. Can you provide contact details for the department responsible for managing this service?

HR (Health and Safety Service) Simon Bates ( )