eBulletin – Osmond Ergonomics November 2017

November 10, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/11/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage11-2017Mental health is a major issue for many of our clients and we have been exploring ways to deliver meaningful, valuable training to meet those needs. I am therefore very pleased to announce that our first Wellbeing in the Workplace Masterclass is now ready for delivery. It has been developed in collaboration with The Colour Works with whom we have been working internally for nearly twenty years. Using the Insights Discovery model, the half-day course incorporates an innovative approach to the key issues and supplies the tools and motivation to trigger immediate action. If you would like to know more about how we can deliver this programme within your organisation, please contact me.


accuratus_curveSince the withdrawal of the Microsoft Arc, we have been searching extensively for a quality wireless (R/F) mini keyboard. The choice of Bluetooth products continues to grow but there seems to be much less manufacturer commitment to the ‘dongle wireless’ format in a small footprint prodcut. The good news is that we have finally found a keyboard that we are very happy to promote. It uses scissor-action keys for excellent tactile feedback and scored very well in our WoW Factor review process. You can find it on our web site here.


resubscribeWith this issue (No. 96), we have completed 8 years of uninterrupted monthly newsletters so I am very keen to carry on! As I have mentioned previously, we are asking all recipients to resubscribe to ensure we comply with the new GDPR regulations in 2018. This is my third and final request for you to subscribe to our new database before we close the old one. To maintain uninterrupted delivery, if you have not already done so, please take a couple of minutes to register for the new database here. The reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it. Many thanks for your continued interest and support.


aplusaLooking back over this year, I have reported from ErgoExpo in Las Vegas, Preventica in Paris and the Furniture & Light Fair in Stockholm, as well as the Physio First and CIEHF conferences and Health & Wellbeing exhibition in the UK. Unfortunately, there is really nothing new to talk about from Dusseldorf! There may have been revolutionary new designs in protective footwear or reflective tabards but these were not areas of interest for me and the office ergonomics displays were uninspiring. Whilst there were several attractive stands and I had time to catch up with a few ‘ergo friends’, there was nothing new on the product front. I did, however, find a brilliant promotional gift for our 2018 events (more info soon)!


training_workshop_250pxWe are still formulating our programme which will now start in the New Year in order to allow enough time for advance advertising and promotion. The plan is to offer half day sessions accompanied by a product showcase at the same venue. The showcase will be available in the afternoon on the same day and will give visitors a hands-on opportunity with a wide variety of products. At the moment, London, Southampton and Bristol are the first definite locations. We are still waiting for further feedback before adding other venues. If you have not already expressed interest (this is not a commitment), please take a couple of minutes to do so here.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin October 2017

October 13, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/10/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


PrintWe are very pleased to announce our IIRSM Approved Organisation Status, together with approval of the first five of our training sessions. These are available to employers for in-house delivery but we are also planning to start scheduling regional workshops around the country over the next few months. Our most popular one hour course is Workstation Postural Awareness whilst our newest half day course, Do you want to be an Assessor?, is aimed at medical professionals and others who are thinking about a full- or part-time career as a DSE assessor. It provides trainees with an overview of the legislative background, assessment process and equipment available, as well as pointing to suitable further training and qualifications. For our full training overview, click here.


office_athletesLast month, I attended the International Partner Event at Office Athletes’ head office in the Netherlands. Office Athletes is the new name for Bakker’s parent company and this now embraces software and research as well as the many ergonomics accessories we know and love. In addition to some exciting new product announcements (more information soon!), we also heard news of their current and future research plans. Introducing the neuropsychology lessons learned from elite sports and applying machine learning, would it be possible to develop software that responds to our mood, activity and performance to help us increase productivity? The current answer is ‘not yet’ – but watch this space!


workshopIf you are interested in the IIRSM Approved Training referred to above, you may be even more interested to know that we are planning to deliver these sessions at key venues around the country. In order to help us identify needs and locations, we welcome your assistance in identifying where the interest lies. Please take a couple of minutes to declare your interest by completing this form. This will not constitute an order or, indeed, any commitment on your part but will help us with our planning. As soon as we have some areas with critical mass, we shall start scheduling events.


resubscribe_2We talked about the new GDPR requirements last month so, if you have already re-registered, I apologise for banging on about it again! To ensure we comply with the imminent General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, we are asking ALL subscribers to reregister to ensure you continue to receive this monthly newsletter. To ensure uninterrupted delivery, please take a couple of minutes to register for the new database hereThe reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it. Many thanks for your continued interest and support.


demo_stockThe decorations are in the stores and the staff party brochures are arriving in the post so it must be nearly Christmas! If you are thinking about buying a comfortable work chair as a present for a loved one, now is the time to consider one of our ex-demonstration models at significant discounts. We have updated our list and there is a wide variety of models available, some at less than our original buying price. When you find what you are looking for, we can even hold it for you for delivery in December. However, this is very much a ‘when it’s gone, it’s gone’ list so don’t delay! You can find the latest list here.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin August 2017

August 11, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/08/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage08-2017It is ironical that perching, the ‘third way’ in the sit-stand conversation, first became topical a few decades ago during discussions about standing too much! Historically, there have been many logical applications for perching in manufacturing environments as a way to reduce the standing time for machine operators and process personnel without the productivity loss which can arise from frequent changes between sitting and standing. You will also see perching stools in galleries and museums so that attendants do not have to stand for their entire shift. [read more]


RollerMouseOfferIn conjunction with Contour Design, we are currently promoting our 30 day free trial offer. With no upfront payment, you can now try any of the Contour RollerMouse products and/or the Balance keyboard for up to thirty days before making your buying decision. The RollerMouse portfolio has been revised and extended again recently and the proven technology just keeps getting better! Simply complete the request form here and we will contact you to discuss the trial programme.


web_designI mentioned in April that we are working on a major redesign of ergonomics.co.uk. This project has grown significantly since we first started our internal discussions and it will now draw together all our existing websites and social media as well as integrating our full portfolio of products and services. Quite an achievement! Although the strategic plan is well advanced, we are still open to design ideas. Please email us any suggestions or hyperlinks to web sites you really like. All responders will receive a PopSocket and one of you will win a Red Letter Day voucher.


ergoexpoAs I write this, it is a short while until I fly to Las Vegas for the annual National Ergonomics Conference & ErgoExpo. For more than ten years, I have come to recognise the quizzical look that greets the statement ‘I have to go to Las Vegas for a conference’, but I really do not like the city much. Despite the excellent restaurants and proximity to the Grand Canyon, the ‘delights’ of 24 hour gambling and drinking hold little appeal. However, I look forward to interesting presentations and meeting old and new friends. The views and approaches will certainly be different from Paris! Expect a blog in September.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin July 2017

July 14, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/07/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


My recent visit to Paris for the Préventica exhibition was an exhilarating experience but this was not because of the products on display. In the ergonomics section, I had seen them all before, either in the UK or at other international exhibitions.  The exhilaration came from the freshness and youth of the industry. [more]


demo_chair_stockWith our company year end just behind us, we are conscious of the need to update our demo stock and clear redundant samples. Chairs, in particular, seem to propagate in the warehouse! To create space and, perhaps, give you the chance to buy an excellent chair for your home, we have created this inventory.  Since mentioning this in my May eBulletin, we have added a few more to the list and dropped some prices. Warranty periods vary from product to product but all are outstanding value and several are even offered below our cost price.


3keyboards250pxLike buses, mini keyboards seem to arrive in batches. This month, we have three new products from three different manufacturers. Each has a very different evolutionary history and application. The new Bluetooth and wired Ultraboard from Bakker Elkhuizen has evolved from the highly successful Sboard/Saturnus which has been a mainstay of our portfolio for several years. The Balance keyboard from Contour complements their RollerMouse products exceptionally well and, finally, the new Wireless K360 from Logitech provides a quality, compact RF wireless product to fill the gap created since the demise of the Microsoft Arc. See them all here.


global_legislationA close friend and colleague has recently given me access to an outstanding document which outlines the legislation relating to occupational health and safety in 41 countries. This provides real insight into the diversity of statutory and legislative requirements. Did you know, for instance, that onsite workstation assessments are a requirement in countries like Singapore, Switzerland and South Africa, as well as the UK (and many others)? Or that, in China, personnel must be trained and pass a test in work safety before being ‘assigned to post’? If you are working in multiple markets and would like to discuss this further, please contact me.


assessorThank you to the many who replied to our recent request for UK workplace assessors. We have been delighted with both the number and quality of applicants. For the time being, we have almost completed the process but there are still a few UK areas where we need better cover. For these areas, we are now only considering ad hoc self-employed personnel but, if you are interested in joining our team on this basis, please send your CV to Heike Kluever-Littlewood.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin June 2017

June 16, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 14/06/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage06-2017In comments about Clerkenwell Design Week 2015, I noted that ergonomics is an essential subject for some, a relevant topic for others and a misunderstood and inconsequential distraction for the rest! In this short article, I shall be expressing my subjective observations about how this is evolving in wider workplace attitudes as reflected during CDW2017. [more]


DSE_training2We still have some space on our 2 day DSE Assessor Course in London on Wednesday and Thursday June 28-29, 2017. Once again, this will be delivered for us by Human Applications and the content has recently been reviewed and extensively updated. The location is the boardroom of the Pledge/Edge Design showroom in Clerkenwell – an ideal venue close to Farringdon station. To find out more and/or register your interest, visit our booking page at ergonomics.events.


online_resourcesAs well as working on significant plans to update our website, we have been reviewing and updating our literature and resources recently. There have also been some additions to the collection. You probably know most of our ‘purple pages’. These all relate to our traditional activities in the ergonomics, occupational health and safety market. ‘Blue’ materials are targeted at broader workplace requirements and project needs. The whole portfolio is freely available to download here.


internet_of_things_smart_buildings250pxAt the recent ThinkFM conference, there were some thought-provoking presentations about how technology continues to influence workplace design and management. Whilst Agile Working is still the ‘hottest topic’ at the moment, future technologies and some very clever products that already exist will change the way we occupy buildings and, more significantly, the way our buildings respond to our occupancy. Most dramatic of all was the keynote presentation by Ben Waber of Humanyze who gave us some stunning insights into behavioural analytics.


Tech_contact_lensRegular readers will know that I love technology! As well as ThinkFM, I have attended a number of recent presentations about new developments that impact our behaviour and, indeed, our lives. However, I frequently find myself torn between thinking ‘this is brilliant and really useful’ and ‘do I really want to surrender so much information about myself?’. I know there is nothing I can do about it but my privacy seems to be constantly eroded and I have no control. However, there is one technology this Grumpy Old Man is really looking forward to: Smart Contact Lenses! Wouldn’t it save a lot of embarrassment to see a person’s name appear beside them in augmented reality as they walk towards you?

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin May 2017

May 12, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 10/05/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage05-2017To meet the needs of new and existing client contracts, we require more workplace assessors throughout the UK. We are happy to consider full- or part-time employment applications as well as self-employed assessors looking for ad hoc work. In the first instance, please email me (in absolute confidence) with details of your previous experience, geographical region covered and area(s) of expertise (DSE, dyslexia, vision or hearing impairment, etc.). We will even consider you if you have limited experience (or none at all) but would like to be trained for such a position. As Investors in People Gold, we have an excellent training programme for new personnel so just tell us why you think you are culturally aligned with Osmond Ergonomics and what skills you could bring to the role.


dseWe have scheduled another 2 day DSE Assessor Course in London on Wednesday and Thursday June 28-29, 2017. Once again, this will be delivered for us by Human Applications and the content has recently been reviewed and extensively updated. We are grateful to Pledge/Edge Design for providing the boardroom of their Clerkenwell showroom – an ideal venue close to Farringdon station. To find out more and/or register your interest, visit our booking page at ergonomics.events.


chairSalesWith the end of our financial year imminent, we have a small number of ex-demo and sample chairs available for disposal. To create warehouse space and reduce time during our annual stock-take, we are offering some highly competitive prices as long as we can clear them before the end of May. All chairs are in very good condition and will be offered with a warranty of at least two years. Some of these are being offered at less than half the original retail price and will be ideal for your home office or even as a gift. The stock list is quite short and all enquiries will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis. Just email us to request a copy.


webinars2017You probably already know that we run regular public webinars on a core range of topics. You may be less aware that we also run bespoke, closed webinars for corporate clients and associations. These events can be tailored to your specific needs and provide an excellent medium to address a geographically dispersed audience in a focussed way. They save significant travel and hosting costs and can be scheduled, prepared and delivered remarkably quickly. To find more about the benefits of this form of communication and explore ideas, contact Stuart Entwistle, our Training Manager.


ciehf_2017My favourite presentation of the recent CIEHF 2017 Conference (which we also sponsored) was the plenary by David Watts, entitled ‘The spreading influence of human factors in design … it’s just called something else’. David’s company, CCD Design & Ergonomics, employs both designers and human factors specialists in a variety of significant projects worldwide and it was fascinating to hear how these two functions collaborate (not always eagerly!) to produce amazing outcomes. Much of what they do is what I call ‘stealth ergonomics’, a concept we have deployed for many years. Sometimes the best way to deliver good ergonomics is not to mention that it’s ergonomics!


ergoexpoAfter much deliberation, I shall be a delegate again this year. I have missed the last two events for family reasons but was unsure about how well I might cope with Las Vegas in August since daytime temperatures can reach around 40C! Having made the commitment, I have also been granted a discount code to share. If, therefore, you are thinking of booking a full conference package, use code GUY17 for a $75 discount. If you do not plan to attend, I shall provide a report in due course. I am always fascinated by the differences between US and European approaches to ergonomics and, if there is a conversation hiatus, we can just discuss international politics!

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin April 2017

April 13, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/04/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.


HeaderImage04-2017Following my recent ‘Lies, damned lies and statistics’ comments, I am grateful to Jay Kuo (@nycjayjay) for a Tweet that helped me focus on one of the key issues about misinformation. Why is April 1st the only day of the year that we question the reliability of what we read online?

Whilst we are all particularly cautious about news stories on April 1st, many  (perhaps even most?) of us are guilty during the rest of the year of seeing something online and taking it at face value without much thought about its origin or legitimacy. Then, having passively accepted its reliability, we share it with friends and colleagues! [more]


web_designWe know that ergonomics.co.uk is in need of a major design overhaul. We make frequent detail changes and updates but we are now planning a complete makeover. We shall be working on this over the next few months. We already have many ideas for its appearance, navigability and content but we welcome further suggestions. Is there a particular feature you would like us to include? Or have you seen a specific web site (not necessarily in our industry) that ‘ticks all the boxes’ for you? Please email us any ideas or hyperlinks. All responders will receive a small gift and one of you will win a Red Letter Day voucher.


ciehfConferenceThe next event in my conference calendar is CIEHF’s Ergonomics & Human Factors 2017 in Daventry.  We do not exhibit at this event but I attend as a delegate and it is a great opportunity to learn about the latest thinking and catch up with the leading (UK and worldwide) individuals in the profession. We are also sponsoring the first day’s plenary lecture by David Watts of CCD. In recent years, the conference has gone from strength to strength and I have been delighted to see the continuing high academic standards balanced with an increasing mix of more practical case study presentations.


PhysioFirstSymposiumFor me, the most inspiring element of the recent annual Physio First conference was the Friday ‘Groundbreaking Goal 9 Symposium’ which explored the scope for creating a co-operative of private practice UK physiotherapists. Under the chairmanship of Pam Simpson, the executive has some exciting plans for the organisation to address the commercial and cultural demands of its members. At the AGM, I was appointed a Vice-President of Physio First. This is a significant honour and privilege and we look forward to working even more closely with the organisation and its members. More news soon.


tvWell, hardly! However, my LinkedIn posting of the interview I recorded at the Health & Wellbeing exhibition has been liked and commented on by people as far afield as New Zealand and the USA. I learned a lot from this, most notably the conspicuous fact that I have no future in television! Many thanks to Employment Innovation TV for creating this: is it obvious it was completely unscripted? At least it was not too full of ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ – was that me or very professional editing? If you are not a LinkedIn user, you can also find the video here.

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