Taking the strain out of health and safety at work

health and safety in office design

Recent research published by The Work Foundation highlights that 12.5 per cent of all UK sick days are attributable to back pain. More than ever, employers are under pressure to take better care of their employees; but perils such as bad seating and poorly-positioned computer screens are putting people at risk of discomfort or even workplace-related injuries.
So new Berkhamsted-based office design company, Officeworks, is helping businesses take the strain out of health and safety management – by creating functional workspaces that also promote employee wellbeing.

Officeworks combines specialist workplace safety and human anatomy experience with the design and layout expertise of international retail consultancy Shopworks. The team includes expert input from lecturer and osteopath Tim Hanwell, alongside property and brand consultancy specialists.

Office design with staff health at its heart

Every office environment that Officeworks creates is designed to maximise the available space for improved efficiency and productivity, with staff health and wellbeing central to the concept. And often, even minor changes to office layouts can cut absenteeism and make staff work more productively.

“Workplace injury caused by poor-quality seating or incorrect posture is very real and affects thousands of people,” said Tim Hanwell. “That’s why I got involved with Officeworks – to stop people in their tracks before they do any long-term damage.

“We watch people at work and see how they use their space. That includes looking at office layouts, workstation positioning, lighting, heating and even how people use a keyboard and phone.

“Once we’ve seen how people work individually, we can create designs to help teams work as safely as possible. Often little things make a big difference – such as raising or lowering a chair by a couple of inches, or moving a phone within easy reach.”

Tim is an expert in musculoskeletal disorders, pain and injury associated with sitting, and repetitive strain injury (RSI). His 18-year career includes working for the BBC, London School of Economics, Rolls Royce and the NHS. He has seen some extreme cases of office-based injuries, including a woman who had such bad RSI that she couldn’t even hold a cup of tea.

Officeworks offers a range of services – from reviewing the existing office environment and conducting DSE (Display Screen Equipment) assessments, through to redesign of space, office refurbishment, workstation design, furniture supply and final fit-out.

For further information, please email Officeworks or call the team on +44 (0)1442 875666.