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HSE's 'Risk-reduction through design' Award

The 'Risk-reduction through design' Award is sponsored by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF).

We want to inspire businesses to consider how ergonomics-based design changes can reduce the risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and nominate design changes that have made a real impact.

HSE's message continues to be that risks from MSDS must be controlled and that all employers should eliminate or reduce these risks at source where possible.

2019/20 award winners

Severn Trent Water (Utilities sector)

Severn Trent Water - MSD Design Awards Poster (PDF)

Severn Trent Water are the 2019/20 winners, announced on 29 April 2020 at the CIEHF 'Ergonomics and Human Factors Conference'. Their entry was a collaborative effort with manufacturer Langham Industrial Controls Ltd to develop an adaptor which eliminated manual handling.

The adaptor allowed heavy standpipes fitted to water hydrants (used for water quality testing and monitoring) to be mounted inside vans for both transit between locations and during the hydrant water flushing operations at each location.

Network Rail (Railways sector)

Network Rail - MSD Design Awards Poster(PDF)

Also commended in the 2019/20 competition was Network Rail for their redesign of equipment to eliminate manual handling in track points machine maintenance. The challenge was how to eliminate or reduce the manual handling of heavy rail track points operating equipment.

A collaborative effort between Network Rail staff in Leeds and Aquarius Rail developed a bespoke road rail vehicle trailer and crane attachment. The innovative solution helps eliminate manual handling of the track points both at the depot and at the trackside.

Make a nomination for 2020/21

You can nominate any design solution implemented in workplaces in the UK that have demonstrated how you have reduced musculoskeletal risks for your workers – we want examples that have made a real impact.

Design solutions that have reduced musculoskeletal risks to large numbers of workers will be attractive, but we are also looking for novel, innovative or niche solutions.

We welcome in-house or consultant-led design changes, but we would like businesses to make the nominations (not the designers).

What to include in your submission

You should submit your nomination on of 2 sides of A4 paper:

Where to send your nomination(s)

Send your nomination to: [email protected] by 31 January 2021.

Design solutions across sectors

Examples of design solutions from across a range of industry sectors are listed below.

Don't worry if an example in your industry sector is not here – take the opportunity to provide one and submit an entry! We want to hear from all industries.






Transport and logistics