Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin December 2018

December 14, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/12/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

SEASONS’S GREETINGS TO ALL OUR READERS

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As we start our 10th year of publication and 57th year of trading, it is time to wish you all a very happy festive season and thank you for your continued interest and support. We hope you will enjoy the break with your family and friends. Both politically and economically, the New Year will bring even more uncertain times. Protecting the mental and physical health of the nation’s workers will be of paramount importance as we address the challenges of this unprecedented period. Always remember that we are here to help you face and overcome whatever comes your way!

WEBSITE FEEDBACK

web_feedback If you have not already done so, you still have a little time left to tell us what you think of our redesigned website. On December 20th, we shall be drawing a name from the feedback participants to win a £200 Red Letter Day voucher. We have put enormous resources into designing, creating and populating the site and the work is ongoing. However, the best ideas for its development come from you, the users. It will only take a few minutes to complete the feedback form, which can be found here. Many thanks.

YEAR END SHUTDOWN

shutdown2018Please note that we shall be closed from 17:00 on Friday December 21st, 2018 until 08:30 on Wednesday January 2nd, 2019. Our last despatch date for pre-Christmas delivery will be Thursday December 20th, 2018. All enquiries during the shutdown period, including any orders placed on our website, will be handled as quickly as possible after we reopen in the New Year.

NEW VAN – NEW LOOK

van-2018Over the last year, you have seen our Healthy People – Healthy Thinking – Healthy Workplace brand extension appear on our web site, in our social media and on our literature. This month sees the arrival of our first van in the new format. As you can see, it’s striking! Our other vans will be updated in the same way as they are replaced.

SIT-STAND E-DAPTOR

e-daptorFor the last couple of years, the sit-stand adaptor market has seen a deluge of me-too products, primarily from China, offering no significant new features and often of poor quality. 2019 looks set to disrupt the market with some much needed innovation. Our first new product is the E-daptor which is the first electrically adjustable adaptor to meet our quality and function criteria. This fills a gap in the market where an individual needs sit-stand because of a back injury but cannot accommodate a free-standing desk. In these scenarios, users often struggle with manually adjustable adaptors because of the stress to their back when adjusting the height. Electrical adjustment solves that problem.

NATIONAL ROADSHOW

roadshow2019Our product showcase format is being enhanced for 2019 and comprehensive details will follow shortly. In the meantime, we have set dates and locations with exact venues now being finalised. Each showcase date will also be followed by a One Day DSE Assessor Course the next day. Booking will become available early in the New Year but you can pencil any relevant date(s) into your diary now: February 26th: Southampton, March 26th: London, May 21st: Bristol, June 18th: Birmingham, July 16th: Manchester, September 24th: Edinburgh.

BLOGS

blog2018Since we started to publish them, I have been writing all our blogs. This is time consuming and, with a simultaneous need to address all three of our Healthy sectors, I am simply not productive enough! We have therefore introduced additional staff writers who will help me to keep interesting and informative copy flowing. The first article – Is Health & Wellbeing linked to the Office Environment? – has already been published and we have several more already in the pipeline alongside my own planned pieces. This eBulletin will continue to be written by me (with highly critical editorial support from my office colleagues!).


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin November 2018

November 16, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/11/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

PODS, PLANTS & PLASTIC – ORGATEC 2018

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I first attended the biennial Orgatec exhibition in 1992, the year the Aeron chair was launched. This was the first ever mesh chair, replacing traditional upholstered foam, and, in terms of radical design, it remains the most dramatic and significant product launch I have witnessed. In the main, furniture shows today are rather like motor shows: everybody seems to be doing a variant of the same thing but some are applying more recent technology.

The most striking development since the last event two years ago is the emergence of the pod. This concept – a room within a room – is an exquisite irony of workplace design. Having created open plan offices by removing partition walls, we are now creating rooms to install within the open spaces! [more].

WEB FEEDBACK REQUITED – WIN A RED LETTER DAY!

win_red_letter We would really like your feedback about our web site. Simply click here to participate in our survey and you could win a £200 Red Letter Day voucher in time for Christmas. Since we replaced the web site a few months ago, we have continued to make lots of enhancements to all the three linked threads: Healthy People-Healthy Thinking-Healthy Workplace. We are increasing the video content, extending the image galleries and continuing to add new products. See for yourself at ergonomics.co.uk.

ACOUSTICS GALLERY 

acousticsFollowing our Sound Ergonomics feature in last month’s eBulletin and my recent visit to Orgatec referred to above, we have created a new image content page to accommodate the enormous variety of products available to address acoustics issues in a host of scenarios. The workplace problems arising from excess or inappropriate noise continue to grow. There are lots of ways to address these problems and some are very simple. It’s as easy as ABC (Absorb, block, cover)! Contact us to start the conversation.

NEW YEAR PRICE RISES

price_rises_2018As we approach the year end it is time, once again, to remember that many manufacturers start the New Year with a price rise. We are now beginning to receive notifications about these proposed rises so this is the best time to be thinking about any orders you may be considering. There is still (just about) time to deliver most products before Christmas and, where it is already too late, we can usually agree a dispensation for a prompt order. Contact your Business Development Manager or the Customer Service team to find out how we can help.

CHAIR STOCK CLEARANCE

chair_saleWe maintain a constant list of ex-demo and sample chairs but this is the time of year when we are asked most often about Special Offers. If you are looking for one or more quality chairs at really competitive prices, download this list. We add to it regularly so it is worth revisiting from time to time if you do not find what you want immediately. Some of the products listed are offered at less than our purchase price.

CONFERENCES & EXHIBITIONS 2019

exhibitions_2019As well as new price lists and stock clearance, it is the time of year to start thinking about next year’s events. At Health & Wellbeing in Birmingham (5-6 March 2019), you will find us on Stand 67 (a change of position from the last few years) and the following month (5-6 April 2019) we shall be at the PhysioFirst Conference in Nottingham. Our National Roadshow tour dates will also be confirmed shortly. See our Conferences & Exhibitions page for further information.

WEB PORTAL

osmondgroup_web_portalWhilst we continue to focus on ergonomics.co.uk as our primary web site, many of our clients also use osmondgroup.co.uk as a quick-link location for all our social media and some of our key online resources. This has just been updated to add Instagram and enhance some of the other links. Using this one page is so much easier than bookmarking several others! If you have any other pages that you access frequently, let us know and we will consider adding them.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin October 2018

October 12, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/10/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

SOUND ERGONOMICS

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Look at many modern workplaces and the three most common components are glass, concrete and steel. Remove the suspended ceiling, expose the HVAC and cabling, add hard flooring, create an open plan work environment and guess what you have created – an acoustic nightmare! This should really come as no shock. In much the same way we seem surprised to find that houses built on flood plains are liable to flooding, employers now look at the hard, sound-reflecting surfaces they have created and wonder where it all went wrong! Of course, the ‘perfect storm’ ingredient is the move to agile working. As personnel adapt (more or less successfully) to new ways of working, the workplace must support and encourage those changes. Commonly, too much (or the wrong sort of) noise is at the root of productivity and performance issues. Worse still, we are seeing growing problems relating to stress and mental health as a result of workplace noise and distraction. Please contact us to explore how we can help with your noise problems.

ACOUSTIC ANSWERS – PODS

orangebox_podIronically, the factors described above have created the need for cellular rooms in which to meet or concentrate! Whilst a well-managed agile working programme will provide a mix of work environments, the loss of meeting rooms, individual offices or quiet zones in general can impact productivity. A self-contained unit is therefore an effective, flexible approach to the problem. Levels of sophistication vary enormously and most manufacturers provide a range of options to suit the situation and use. Significantly, they can be reconfigured or relocated in the future to meet changing demands.

ACOUSTIC ANSWERS – SEATING

elite-office-furniture-gallery-retreat-01In only a few years, the individual chairs used in breakout and collaboration areas have been widely complemented by booth designs. By offering high back and fully enclosed bench seating, manufacturers combine function, comfort, practicality and acoustics. There is also a psychological benefit to the sense of enclosure that these products engender. Technology such as integrated screens, USB or inductive charging, lighting and Bluetooth connections further enhance the productivity potential. In a variety of shapes and styles, booth seating is widely available in modular form to meet operational and budget needs.

ACOUSTIC ANSWERS – VERTICAL & HORIZONTAL

acoustics_horiz_vertThis is ‘old school’ acoustics! Before the products described above had even been invented, it was possible to hang sound-absorbing panels on the walls to reduce noise. In recent years, these hangings have increased in effectiveness, sophistication and appearance. They can now be manufactured with high resolution images, corporate branding and logos, cover the whole wall or even look like concrete! Similarly, panels suspended from high ceilings can be in any shape and size and the dizzying array of fabrics available can be used to blend them into the background or create vibrant displays. An acoustic survey will identify the issues and the best combination of approaches to the problems encountered. Contact us to find out more.

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

mentalhealthatworkWe find more and more of the problems we see in the workplace are related to stress and mental health. This can relate as much to musculo-skeletal issues as it does to acoustics and noise. Back in May, I mentioned the Return to Work site providing a free toolkit to support the process after mental health absence. More excellent (and extensive) support is available from Mental Health at Work. This site, curated by Mind and supported by The Royal Foundation, contains even more toolkits, case studies and resources, all of which can be accessed anonymously.

GLOBAL ERGONOMICS MONTH

global_ergonomics_monthYou may not have realised that October is Global Ergonomics Month. Or at least, I think it is! I had an email about it from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors but there is nothing about it on their web site home page or, indeed on the home page of the International Ergonomics Association. So hurrah for global awareness!! From Google searches, I know it was in 2016 and 2017 so, just in case it is again (or we can restart it between us), please consider sharing these documents: User Centred Design: a guide for Teachers  Human Factors for Health & Social Care; White Paper  Human Connection II: ergonomics & human factors making life better. And don’t forget the book that includes my first (and only) formally published work!.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin September 2018

September 14, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/09/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

ERGOEXPO CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 2018 – A PERSONAL VIEW

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Last year, ErgoExpo moved from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to the Paris Hotel across the street. It also moved from November to August. This year, the August scheduling meant outside temperatures reaching 43°C and nowhere to escape from the perpetual ‘daylight’ and air-conditioned cocoon of the Paris Hotel and its conference facilities! Of course, the hotels in Las Vegas never want us to see the light of day but, for me, there is always a constant, overwhelming desire to get outside at any opportunity. [more]

BIG GREEN EXPO

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On October 2nd, we are participating in the Big Green Expo, an event that brings together exhibitors and visitors with a shared interest in sustainability. We shall be showcasing some of our best cradle-to-cradle products on our principal stand as well as participating in the ‘Office of Tomorrow Today’ feature in the centre of the hall. This regional event provides a wide cross-section of products and services for organisations looking to improve their environmental impact. It is an ideal opportunity for us to showcase some of our most innovative merchandise. Admission is free.

NATIONAL PRODUCT SHOWCASE

showcaseOur national ‘mobile showroom’ tour has just two more dates on this year’s calendar. Come and see the latest and best products from our portfolio alongside our long standing best-sellers. Get ‘hands on’ with all types of accessories and input devices and get ‘bottoms on’ with chairs from more than 8 manufacturers. Try free-standing sit-stand desks alongside desktop adaptors. Do this in Bristol at the end of this month or in Glasgow in October. Both events are completely free but registration will help us anticipate numbers.

AGILE WORKING POSTURE GUIDANCE

agile_working_guideWe have revised our old ‘Handheld Devices’ guidance and recreated it as an Agile Working guide. This covers the wide variety of posture issues commonly encountered by users of PEDs (Personal Electronic Devices) wherever they are. In our experience, even the most dynamic organisations are not very good at advising users about posture issues ‘out and about’. Even when there are comprehensive training programmes to support individuals beyond the office and communications amongst dispersed teams, it seems that posture is often completely overlooked.

HANDS-ON TRAINING FOR DSE ASSESSORS

hands_on_trainingAs part of our national training tour, we shall also be in Bristol and Glasgow with our half-day training workshops designed to enhance the skills of established DSE assessors, accelerate the knowledge of those who are recently appointed and provide context for those involved in specifying products. The morning course (Workplace Postures and Seating) at each location looks at seating posture and products and the afternoon session (Options for Reasonable Adjustments) considers other options such as sit-stand furniture and accessories. The two courses are available independently but lunch is included if you book both!

AMBLE TASK LIGHT

amble_lampThe desk lamp that ‘balances on tip-toe’! For those needing a task lamp that is both elegant and functional, Amble fits the bill. Offering a 3500K light temperature (not too yellow, not too blue), this is the ideal white light for those who are not close to a natural light source. Its three balancing positions provide options from focussed reading lamp to ambient light source and its one moving part provides a functional simplicity to match its clean lines.

FACULTY OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSING

fohn_logoRecently, we have been providing some back-office training and technical support for the newly-formed Faculty of Occupational Health Nursing. The FOHN launches officially on October 1st, 2018 with the vision of promoting excellence in the education, research and evidence based practice of all occupational health nurses for the benefit of the working population. The Executive Committee is a highly qualified and experienced group of Occupational Health professionals and I am confident this will be a very influential organisation in the future..


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin August 2018

August 10, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/08/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

TREADMILL DESKS: I’VE CHANGED MY MIND

Lifespan‘Active Desk’ is the term generally attributed to office desks integrated with either a treadmill unit or some sort of cycle device. In the past, I have been quite disparaging about these products and described them as a Step Too Far!

When they first appeared I thought the sales approach was too gimmicky with no clear message. It was also apparent that quality was inconsistent and that many manufacturers, especially from China, seemed to be jumping on the ‘sit less’ bandwagon. There was little concern about how the products would be used or what benefits they might offer.

Whilst I continue to be unimpressed about the cycle devices, I have recently made an about turn in my thinking about treadmill units linked to desks, but such a radical piece of rethinking clearly needs further explanation. [more]

WEB SITE FEEDBACK

web_site2We are making changes and enhancements to ergonomics.co.uk on a daily basis. Feedback has been good about the new design but we are really interested in ideas to make it easier to use or more informative. Last month we asked you to take just a few minutes to complete our feedback questionnaire. We really value your time so all contributors have the chance to win a £200 Red Letter Day voucher. If you have not already done so, please participate here.

ROADSHOW

roadshow6We are now in the final stages of this year’s roadshow with only Bristol and Glasgow remaining. Each two day event starts with a free Product Showcase on the first day. This is effectively a mobile showroom with all the latest products alongside established bestsellers. On the second day, we run two half day training courses which provide valuable knowledge and hands-on experience, principally for Health & Safety Managers, Occupational Health personnel and DSE assessors. View the diary here or contact the Customer Service team to see if you are eligible for a discount – or even a free session!

ERGOEXPO

ergoexpo2I shall be back in Las Vegas this month for my eleventh visit to the National Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo. Although I have no empathy with the city – or many of its ‘attractions’ – it is a great conference and a fascinating opportunity to compare and contrast North American thinking with the European approach. There are also some fabulous restaurants! If you are attending, please let me know by email or through LinkedIn if you want to meet up. Of course, I shall be reflecting on the experience when I return and a blog will follow in the comparatively near future.

PREGNANCY PACK

pregnantMany customers ask us for advice to address the needs of pregnant workers. Apart from help with legislative obligations, they also need to know about products to assist with posture and comfort issues. Over the years, we have identified a shortlist of proven solutions to address individual needs. Our established Pregnancy Pack has existed for several years and has just been refreshed. We have checked and updated the guidance alongside a review and amendments to the product suggestions. You can download your free copy here.

SUMMER PLAYLIST

summer_playlistAnd finally, a little summer fun. We asked our team to select their favourite summer tunes to enjoy in this sweltering heat. I had to remove a few choices because the vocabulary did not seem appropriate and, to be honest, I stole the idea from a local car dealership email but we hope you enjoy the finished selection! For convenience, we have created this playlist on Spotify. If you are not already a Spotify subscriber, the link will invite you to register for a free account.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin July 2018

July 13, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/07/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

60 DAYS & COUNTING! TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

HP-HT-HW-header2018-07Our new web site at ergonomics.co.uk has now been active for over two months and we continue to make enhancements. Whether you are a longstanding client or new to our products and services, we really want to know what you think of the site. We already have a rolling development programme with more new features planned for introduction in due course. However, we also have capacity to include new ideas or alter the emphasis of the changes  – so what you want is the most important design driver. Please help us by completing the anonymous short survey here. We value your time so all contributors will be transfered to a separate draw page with an opportunity to win a £200 Red Letter Day voucher.

VELA TANGO 510E

vela_tango_510eOur new web design allows us to introduce new products which we have not considered previously. The Vela Tango 510E is just such a product. Since we are no longer involved in the Access to Work programme, we used to think that the design might be too bespoke for our day-to-day requirements. However, we have reviewed this thinking recently, put it through our WoW Factor process and added it to the portfolio. It has many possible applications – both at work and at home – for users who cannot stand for long periods or live with a range of disabilities. Its unique design includes many clever features and the range of options makes it easy to specify a configuration to meet an individual’s needs.

ROADSHOW

roadshow_trainingOur National Roadshow & Training tour continues on July 31st – August 1st in Leeds. As before, the format consists of a free Product Showcase in the afternoon and evening of the Tuesday and two (low cost) half day training sessions on the Wednesday. The two complementary training workshops, Workstation Postures & Seating and Options for Reasonable Adjustments, combine lots of practical advice with hands-on product experience. For those attending both training sessions, lunch is also provided. DSE assessors, occupational health, health & safety and disability assessment personnel will all benefit from this programme

DSE ASSESSOR TRAINING

DSE_assessment_lawOur next one day DSE Assessor training is scheduled in Exeter on July 17th. Due to some last minute cancellations, we still have places so please follow this link if you want to attend this double-accredited (IIRSM and CIEHF) session. We have also been asked to organise a course local to us in Dorset and we need a few more delegates to reach critical mass. If this is of interest, please contact our Training Manager about possible dates.

INSTAGRAM

instagramOK, an admission: here is some social media that I have not yet fully mastered! I am trying to get past my perception that Instagram is just a bunch of selfies so we have set up our own company account. I am assured it will give us a great platform to post products, activities and what is happening in the business. We have only just loaded the first few images but we would love you to follow us if you’re an Instagram user – and watch us learn! Find us here.

MOTUS IN WHITE

motus_whiteDemand for our Motus sit-stand desks continues to grow. A recent project required all-white product so we are now stocking the Motus 3000 range with both silver and white frames. With a choice of seven standard top colours and seven sizes, this is a quality product at a competitive price for almost every application. With a  four-memory controller as standard and a full range of associated cable management, monitor arm and CPU holder products, this offers  an outstanding value product, whether it is for a home setup or a whole commercial office.


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin June 2018

June 15, 2018

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/06/2018. You can register here to receive them monthly.

WHY DO WE WOW?

HP-HT-HW-header2018-06As the portfolio on our website grows, our unique ‘WoW Factor’ product review technique becomes ever more important to ensure the quality, design and sustainability of what we offer. For over 10 years, this practice has been a crucial part of our ISO9001 quality system and central to our operational DNA. It allows us to cherry-pick the best products from our supply partners and seek out new manufacturing partners with a story to tell. It is the reason we visit overseas exhibitions, conferences and factories for greater insight and early knowledge of trends and ideas (Sweden, USA, Netherlands and Germany this year). It is the reason manufacturers seek our views and many share design ideas before their public launch. It is the reason we always have an answer to the ‘Cheaper on eBay’ question and the fact we often do not sell the ‘Number 1 on Google’. For more information about the process, please read this short blog from 2015.

MOBILE WORKING & HANDHELD DEVICES

handheldWe have been revisiting the issues we face when using portable technology. Our Posture Guidance for Handheld Devices leaflet is due for an update and we plan to align this to a new seminar/webinar exploring ways of improving posture and reducing musculo-skeletal risks when using technology on the move. Our one hour Workstation Postural Awareness session already looks at posture and sitting in the office and it seems logical to use a similar format for the mobile/agile worker training. Is this something your organisation might be interested in? Let us know if you would be interested in piloting this.

TRAINING PROGRAMME

training_newWe have now relocated the booking and information page for all our face-to-face and webinar events from Eventbrite to our own web site. You can still access everything by typing ergonomics.events into your web browser or, if you prefer, find it under Training & Events through the Healthy Thinking menus on our web site. It currently includes one day DSE Assessor courses as well as the next three events in our national roadshow. As I write, they range geographically from Exeter to Glasgow. If the latter venue appeals, please note that we have changed the roadshow dates to avoid the previous clash with half term. To celebrate the new setup, we are offering 10% off all training courses with voucher code TRG349850 until the end of August.

LAPTOP STANDS FOR APPLE AND OTHERS

laptop_stands_desire2Apple was the first laptop manufacturer to design a screen that does not open a full 180 degrees. Inevitably, other manufacturers have followed their lead. This is not an issue if you use your laptop flat on a work surface but, for many taller users, the screen will not open far enough when using the majority of laptop stands (because they raise the whole computer at an angle). Not long ago, the answer would have been to use a telephone directory or two as a quick fix – but when did you last see a telephone directory? We now have two stylish new products to address this issue and avoid the screen angle problem. Take a look at the Supreme Plus and Supreme Dual Pivot Stands.

THE QEHS EXPO

QEHSexhibition4The Quality, Environment, Health & Safety Expo takes place on Tuesday June 26th at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry CV6 6AQ. At the time of writing, the agenda for this event has still not been published but I shall be speaking! My topic is a current favourite: ‘Sit-stand desks – separating truth from sales pitch’. We shall also be exhibiting on Stand K10. Please let us know if you are coming to visit. For details of this and all our current event plans, please take a look at our Conferences and Exhibitions page.

GDPR

gdpr3I promise not to keep running the General Data Protection Regulation as a topic in perpetuity (even if it seems like that!). This is simply to confirm that all our procedures, policies and documentation for compliance are now in place. You can find our Data Privacy Policy and Data Breach Policy here. For further general information, please contact the Customer Service team. For specific data protection enquiries such as ‘right to access’ or ‘right to be forgotten’ requests, please contact our Data Protection Officer. Finally, you may recall that we entered everyone who resubscribed to this newsletter in a draw. The winner of a brand new iPad was NK of London.


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