Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin March 2020

March 11, 2020

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/03/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.



Running an SME is a demanding job. Fulfilling some or all of the roles of CEO, Finance, Quality, Estates, Facilities, Occupational Health, Health & Safety, Fire Officer, First Aider, Transport Manager and Housekeeper fills a long day! However, as the business starts to grow, it is possible to delegate some (and, eventually, most) of this responsibility. Even so, it might be forgiven if staff wellbeing slips down the daily agenda. Fortunately, the culture of most SMEs supports many elements of wellbeing by default (and probably by accident in the first instance). [more]


ciehf2020This year, the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors conference also hosts the international ODAM (Organisational Design & Management) symposium at the Crowne Plaza, Stratford-on-Avon on 27-29 April. I first attended a conference at this hotel over 40 years ago (in a different industry and it was a Hilton in those days) so it’s an old favourite. There are moves afoot to encourage more workplace-related ergonomics at the conference and I am due to be one of the panellists for an Agile Working ODAM session. However, at the time of writing, I can’t find it on the agenda!


WorkplaceTrendsThe WT programme covers a rolling series of topical issues in workplace design. Last month, I attended the Climate Change and the Workplace seminar. This was primarily about the urgent issues for builders, developers, owners and occupiers in addressing the national and regional Net Zero Carbon commitments. The target for the UK as a whole is 2050 but some local authorities have set more urgent objectives. Whilst the really major challenges come in the building construction, the targets are so demanding that every element needs thorough consideration. Careful thought about the operational energy footprint of the furniture, fixtures and fittings should therefore be a priority as well.


healthandwellbeingBy the time you read this, we shall either be in the process of exhibiting at, or will have already attended this event. Although the exhibition & conference name has not changed since inception, last year saw a significant increase in both exhibitors and visitors who wanted to place a specific focus on Wellbeing. We expect that to continue. With that in mind, this is the ideal event for us to explore our first conversations with smaller employers about that focus. We are also bringing a greater emphasis on sustainability as climate change becomes a central theme once again.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin February 2020

February 12, 2020

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 12/02/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.



After a few months of intensive development work and lots of really valuable suggestions from our very supportive review guinea pigs, the new online version of RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment) is now live and ready to use. Obviously, all the calculations and outcomes are exactly as the original, validated tool developed by Lynn McAtamney and Nigel Corlett. However, the format has been updated for the 21st Century. It’s a responsive design so works on your phone and tablet as well as computers. Thanks to the excellent feedback from our review panel, it also includes several new features, including a graphical pdf report which can be downloaded for your own use. Take a look for yourself here. It’s free!


H&W2020We shall be back at the NEC on March 10th and 11th. Come and see us on Stand 73 in Hall 8. This year we shall be demonstrating sustainable ergonomics with a selection of remanufactured products as well as some new additions to our portfolio (including the new RH Logic). We shall also be launching our SME Pack: with over 25 years’ experience of supporting government organisations and large employers, we are now sharing that knowledge through a portfolio of services to allow dynamic smaller businesses to actively promote and support staff wellbeing without needing all the resources of larger employers.


To support your personal wellbeing whilst at the NEC, we shall also be providing free massage on Stand 73 at Health & Wellbeing at Work. Hot from a premium spa in the New Forest, our very experienced masseuse will release your stress and tension (or at least make a start!) in a free 10-15 minute session. You can take a chance about availability on arrival or book a timed appointment now. To be sure she is available just for you, simply follow this link, to select your time and date. See you there!


ultraboard960We have sold thousands of mini keyboards over the years. Many of these have been for laptop users wanting something compact to carry around but the other major benefit of these devices is the reduced load on the right shoulder by bringing the mouse closer. For those, who want this benefit but need to use the number keys on a frequent basis, we are pleased to announce the new Ultraboard 960 from Bakker Elkhuizen. This full-feature keyboard is significantly narrower than a standard full-size keyboard and has many design benefits. It even fits in most laptop bags! Find out more from the 30 second video here.


PFconference2020We shall be in Nottingham to exhibit at this event on April 24th and 25th. We are also one of the sponsors. At the conference, we shall be demonstrating to private practice physiotherapists the commercial opportunities available in the workplace with a little training and planning. If you are a Physio First member attending, please come and talk to us. If you are a private practice professional offering physio, chiropractic, osteopathy or massage services and you want to know more about how you could offer a more comprehensive service to your existing patients/clients, give us a call.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin January 2020

January 8, 2020

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 08/01/2020. You can register here to receive them monthly.



As I write this newsletter, Brexit is still an undefined concept, much of Australia is ablaze and hostilities are accelerating in the Middle East. The future of office design therefore seems quite a low priority! However, the reality is, of course, that we all need to get on with our lives and I have never been one to vacillate over expressing an opinion! I have therefore been considering what issues I think will become (or remain) central to our thinking about the workplace, how that might impact our activities over the coming decade and what changes may come as a result. [more]


Following last month’s request for pre-launch testers of our new Rapid Upper Limb Assessment tool, we had an excellent response. One suggestion was so good that we have rewritten much of the background code to include it! This has put us back a little but it will be worth it. There is still much to do cosmetically (especially with the PDF report) and, of course, we need to test the scoring process thoroughly. If you would like to help, we are always looking for more testers! Click here to register.


I am delighted to confirm that we now have four new videos for ergonomics.co.uk. As this newsletter is published, our web providers have an unresolved technical issue but, within the next few days, we shall be adding a new home page animation plus a brief overview video for each of the three sections, Healthy PeopleHealthy Thinking and Healthy Workplace. I feel obliged, however, to provide advance warning that the section overviews include quite a lot of me. I have resisted this for several years but our marketing people, inexplicably, think this is a good idea. You may know that I am not averse to the sound of my own voice but watching myself is excruciating!


We are delighted to announce that we have become Corporate Supporters for the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. The supporter logo will now start to appear on our web site and marketing materials. I have been associated with the CIEHF as a member, exhibitor, activist, sponsor, speaker and purveyor of alcohol at functions for over twenty years, going right back to the days of The Ergonomics Society. It is therefore very satisfying to have a more structured vehicle for our association.


As part of our ongoing sustainability programme, we began trialling alternative fuel vehicles as far back as 2000, when we ran three LPG cars. Our policy is to replace company vehicles with more environmentally friendly models but, with vans, this means that a more efficient diesel is still the only viable option. We are making much better progress with cars. Having tried a plug-in hybrid Passat to establish the viability, Stuart Entwistle and I are now running second-hand Tesla S models. These ‘iPads on wheels’ are great value if you let someone else take the first depreciation and also make sound environmental sense. Contact me if you are curious to know more!

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin December 2019

December 13, 2019

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/12/2019. You can register here to receive them monthly.


It's the season to give. Donation jar with money

As we approach the end of the year, it is time, once again, for me to thank all our customers, suppliers, friends and colleagues for your continued support and interaction. In more than 40 years of business, this is without question the most unstable and bewildering time to be running an enterprise. By the time you read this, we shall be just before or just after a General Election in a political atmosphere where it is hard to find something we can believe from politicians of any party. So let’s all take a good break with our friends and family to enjoy some personal time recharging our batteries and restoring our wellbeing!


hopeforfoodlogoWhilst celebrating our own good fortune, it is also the time of year – more than any other – when we remember those who are not so lucky. This will be the third year that we have supported Hope for Food, the Bournemouth-based charity that provides food and support for the homeless, the vulnerable and families in crisis. It is a noble organisation, staffed entirely by volunteers. We are delighted to make our own small contribution to their efforts.


SustainabilityAwardsI am very pleased to announce that we were a category winner in the recently announced 2019 Big Green Awards. The decision recognised our efforts to reduce consumption and minimise future waste across a broad range of activities, including fuel and utilities, service delivery and product design. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with customers looking to take advantage of the many ways to improve environmental impacts in the furniture procurement process.


We dropped our online RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment) tool a while ago because it was a free resource and no longer worked properly with latest browsers. We have now completely updated the design and function and the new pre-release version is ready for testing. Would you help us? If you would be prepared to help us finalise the development by testing what we have done, simply click here.


Film Clapboard SlateDuring December we are creating a variety of video content for use on our web site and in social media. In the New Year, we shall be announcing some exciting new elements to ergonomics.co.uk. These include a number of initiatives to create informative video answers to FAQs. Do you have a particular question that would benefit from a video answer? We already have our own list but, as always, we welcome your ideas. Just email me your suggestion(s)!


Hand is turning a dice and changes the direction of an arrow symbolizing that the price is going down (or vice versa)With a new year imminent, we have been advised about a number of product price rises early in 2020. Furthermore, some increases are significant, with
5%+ quite common. If you have project plans for next year or want to discuss future needs, we shall be pleased to explore how we can help. Just contact your Account Manager or the Customer Service team to start the conversation.


Back soon on sticky note on work tablePlease note that we close at 17:00 on Friday December 20th this year and reopen at 08:30 on Thursday January 2nd, 2020. Our last despatch day is therefore Friday December 20th. As always, our Customer Service team will be pleased to discuss any questions and help with product configuration for orders before we close. Don’t forget that the LiveChat facility (bottom right of the screen) is a great way to ask a simple question with a quick response.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin November 2019

November 13, 2019

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/11/2019. You can register here to receive them monthly.



I am delighted to welcome you to our Tenth Anniversary issue. Throughout the last decade, this eBulletin has been our way of keeping you informed about industry events, research updates, new products, services and workplace trends. We have witnessed the introduction of new ways to communicate, including TwitterLinkedInblogs and webinars! We have seen the growth, first of Home Working and then of Agile Working, the recognition of the link between mental and physical health and the connection between workplace design and worker wellbeing. We have seen flat screens replace CRT monitors and laptops replace cumbersome desktop computers, closely followed by smartphones, tablets and universal Wi-Fi. It has been a rollercoaster!

Each edition has been published at the same appointed time and day each month. We thank you for your continued support, especially those loyal readers who have been with us from the start. We know that you are all bombarded with emails on a daily basis and we thank you for taking this time to read this newsletter rather than anything else. As always, we welcome feedback and I would love to hear from you directly. Email me with ideas for the future, compliments, criticisms, reminiscences or anything you would like to share in this context.


edinburgh_navigatorAs previously mentioned, I shall be speaking at this all-day event at The Scotsman on North Bridge in Edinburgh later this month. There are still places available so do register if you are based in Scotland and actively involved in promoting wellbeing in the workplace. Please let me know if you are attending so that we can catch up for a coffee in one of the breaks.


heated_deskWe are currently carrying out trials of a heated desktop. The design involves a thermostatically-controlled work surface that radiates infra-red heat to the user both above and below the desk. Running costs are one third of a 1kW heater and there is no risk of leaving it on overnight! It can be supplied on a sit-stand frame to offer maximum usage benefits and we see potential for those with Raynaud Syndrome, rheumatism or any individual who just feels the cold! Contact us for further information.


EmmaIt is very likely that you have seen the recent publicity about ‘The Work Colleague of the Future’ – a report on the long-term health of office workers. If you have, you probably also saw Emma, the mannequin created to represent all the ailments of our current sedentary lifestyle. I have read the report and agree with much of its content. However, I am no biological anthropologist but it seems to me that there are some quite staggering assumptions made to extrapolate the mannequin’s appearance from the report findings – and the cycle of human evolution tends to be rather slower than 20 years! Could this be just a clever (but quite successful!) publicity stunt? What do you think? Join the discussion on LinkedIn!

10,000 TWEET

10000tweetsBy the time you read this, we shall probably have sent our 10,000th tweet. When Twitter first appeared, I thought it was a broadcast medium through which we could keep customers, prospects and friends informed about our activities. That all changed when we received our first enquiry tweet. I still remember that question vividly. It was ‘Which is better – trackball or ergonomic mouse?’ Try answering that comprehensively in 140 characters! We decided we couldn’t and responded with this blog.

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin October 2019

October 9, 2019

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 09/10/2019. You can register heret to receive them monthly.



It appears to me that environmental awareness amongst the general public is finally being followed by widespread action. The recent step change in attitudes to plastics has resulted in rapid responses from supermarkets and manufacturers and Extinction Rebellion is gaining active support from a wide cross-section of global society. It seems to me that the UK furniture industry has pockets of good practice and lots of good intentions. Supply is ready to follow demand but, until customers are prepared to go beyond some half-hearted environmental box-ticking, progress will be hampered. In the Netherlands, circular economy criteria are now part of public sector procurement and this is starting to spawn new remanufacturing businesses to meet the need. Is the UK lagging or is conscientious sustainable procurement more widespread than I am seeing? Follow the discussion – and participate – on LinkedIn.


WorkplaceInsightI have been a fan of Workplace Insight since it first appeared and have known the thought-provoking articles of its editor, Mark Eltringham, since before that. A few months ago, he wrote that the DSE Regulations are no longer fit for purpose. Whilst his argument was compelling, I felt the need to respond with my own view. I strongly believe there is still value in the regulations in an age of agile working, as long as they are used intelligently as a basis for wider education. My response appeared here.


edinburgh_hotelOur last ‘mobile showroom’ of 2019 will be in Edinburgh at the end of this month. As usual, we shall have all the latest products alongside our best-sellers so it is an ideal opportunity to view, compare and play! We are also looking at a brand-new product, about which we shall be seeking feedback. It’s not yet 100% certain, but we hope to be showing a heated desk for the first time! We also have three short presentations you can attend. It’s all free but please pre-register here.


postural_awarenessOur most popular webinar has also become a very popular face-to-face session. When delivered on-site, Postural Awareness is often incorporated into a wider programme of events such as Health & Safety or Occupational Health days. Clients also schedule the session to be repeated on a walk-in basis throughout the day and our trainer supplements these seminars with a floor-walk to answer individual questions around the office. Contact Stuart Entwistle, our Training Manager, to discuss ideas.


SustainabilityExpo2019We have exhibited at this event since it started four years ago and it is a success for us each time. It is quite a low-key affair compared to the big NEC/Excel events which are also part of our agenda but, equally, it is one where we learn as well. Once again, I think I have probably found a couple of new suppliers to support our own sustainability programme and we shall probably sell to a couple of other exhibitors as well!

Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin September 2019

September 11, 2019

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 11/09/2019. You can register here to receive them monthly.



As you already know, we provide a wide range of training and knowledge sharing, both in person and by webinar. However, there is also a growing demand for computer-based training and e-learning to meet the need for on-demand delivery, often to a geographically dispersed workforce. This requirement is bound to grow as agile working programmes bring fewer people into the office on a frequent basis. To meet this need, we partner with our friends at Cardinus Risk Management who offer a varied range of nearly 20 different topics, all managed centrally through the PACE integrated back office utility. The diverse topics range from Healthy Working (DSE) to Safe Driving, Fire Safety, Personal Safety Awareness, Corporate Travel Risk and many others. Contact us for further information.


We have been experimenting with this product for a few months before announcing it as part of our product range. Having seen it originally at Orgatec last October, I immediately recognised the function and the comfort but it is fair to say that it ‘looks a bit weird’! This means it will not be an instant choice in many office environments. However, we have tried it in the office for several weeks and it is unquestionably comfortable and well worth considering if you are not constrained by appearances. Find out more here.


If you are a physio and thinking about starting or increasing DSE assessment work, you may well be interested in the London seminar we shall be running at the Flokk showroom in October. This free event has been organised primarily for the London region of Physio First (the UK’s leading professional organisation for private physiotherapists) but we may have a small number of additional spaces available. You can open or download the content, venue and timing document here. To register, please complete the short form here.


The Evoluent range is now the most well-established and recognised portfolio of vertical mouse products in the world. It is many years since we looked at the first rather primitive samples and we have seen the brand grow to the point that the name (like Sellotape, Biro and Hoover in their sectors) has become a moniker for generic vertical mouse products. No mean achievement when most people are not sure how to pronounce it! Find out more about the Evoluent D here.


If you have a meeting with one of my colleagues this month, he or she may arrive to see you in jeans and a t-shirt. We are supporting the Jeans for Genes campaign to help fund-raising for research in this crucial area. We have even agreed that this is one occasion when Double Denim will be acceptable. We are not promising to carry it off as well as these celebrities but we think, if Kanye can do it, then so can we!

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