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.

Make a nomination for 2021/22

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 also encourage small and medium sized businesses to enter. We are also interested in any novel, innovative or niche solutions.

We welcome in-house employer-led design changes or consultant-led design changes, but nominations must be made by the employer (not by the designer).

What to include in your submission

Follow the seven steps below to help you set out your nomination in a simple, structured way:

Where to send your nomination(s)

When you have completed the above steps, please write a cover email including your name, your company, and contact details. Also include the name of the organisation or individual you worked with to make the design changes. If the design changes were totally 'in-house' please indicate this.

Send your nomination to: [email protected] by 31 January 2022.

2020/21 award winner

Herbert Parkinson (Manufacturing / Textiles Sector)

Herbert Parkinson - MSD Design Awards Poster

Herbert Parkinson are the 2020/21 winners, announced on 18 June 2021 at the CIEHF virtual award ceremony. Their entry was a collaborative effort with designer David Atherton to develop a 3D printed handheld tool which reduced repetitive manual upper limb work.

The ergonomically designed tool has allowed workers to insert large numbers of curtain hooks into curtain headers each day without using their fingers, mitigating musculoskeletal discomfort.

2020/21 commended entries

Tilda Limited (Manufacturing/Food Sector)

Tilda Limited - MSD Design Awards Poster

Also commended in the 2020/21 competition is Tilda Limited for their new automated workstation layout used in the breaking down of heavy frozen garnish blocks for use as a raw ingredient in the company’s various rice-based food products.

In a collaborative effort with designer Russell Finex, the team introduced a vibratory sieve to be used in conjunction with lifting tables and conveyors, reducing the need for manual lifting and breaking of the blocks.

BOC Crawley (Chemical Sector)

BOC Crawley - MSD Design Awards Poster

Also commended in the 2020/21 competition was BOC Crawley for their ergonomically designed gas cylinder filling rigs.

Following collaboration with designer Mid-Anglia Engineering, the company installed new height adjustable rigs. The solution supports workers to adopt more comfortable postures when filling the gas cylinder bottles, mitigating the risk of upper limb disorders and lower back discomfort.

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.





Manufacturing (Aerospace)

Manufacturing (Food)

Manufacturing (Textiles)


Transport and logistics