Risk-reduction through design award 2023 to 2024

This award aims to inspire employers to think about how changes to work can reduce the risks of harm to their workers. It’s open to all UK employers, whether large or small. It is sponsored by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF).

Musculoskeletal disorders risk-reduction through design award

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) include injuries and conditions that can affect the back, joints and limbs. The award is for companies that have made simple changes to their workplace, task or activities that have resulted in significantly reduced musculoskeletal risk to their employees.

This might include a reduction in lifting, pushing or pulling activities. It could mean removing the need for manual handling altogether, or a significant decrease in the need for awkward postures or the force needed to use equipment. Let's recognise your contribution to reducing risk!

Make a nomination

If you are an employer in the UK, and you have designed a solution to reduce musculoskeletal risks, nominate your design change for the Risk-reduction through design award.

New this year

We recognise that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are the fundamental backbone to UK economy, employing over half of the country’s workforce. They account for over 95% of private sector businesses. We want to recognise the hard work and dedication of UK SMEs and their approach to risk reduction, and help support other businesses, demonstrating what is possible.

SMEs are defined by number of employees. Micro businesses have 1-9 employees, small businesses have 10-49 employees and medium businesses have 50-249 employees. To reflect this, there will now be 2 categories for the awards:

  1. Best overall MSD risk reduction through design award
  2. Small to medium enterprise (SME) Recognition award

How to enter

We can only accept nominations from employers of the workers who benefit from the design changes. We cannot accept nominations from marketing companies, consultants or designers.

A maximum of 3 nominations per company will be accepted.

To request an entry form please email [email protected].

We will send you a Word template to complete and return to the above email address.

Closing date for nominations

The closing date for nominations is 31 January 2024.

What to include in the template nomination

Tell us how you have reduced the risk of MSDs for your workers. The template will help you develop your nomination.

Your nomination should include:

  • a detailed description of the task or activity and workplace before you made the change
  • a description of your design change
  • clear photographs showing how your workers carried out the activity before (if possible) and after the changes
  • a quote demonstrating what your workers think about the design change

Make sure you tell us:

  • if you designed the solution in-house. Or if someone else helped you, tell us who helped
  • what the impact of the design change is. How has MSD risk been reduced for your workers and how many workers are affected?
  • about any other advantages of the design change. For example, other health or safety benefits, productivity improvements or environmental benefits
  • how you involved your workers in the process

Announcement of the 2023/24 winners

An independent judging panel will consider shortlisted nominations to select an overall winner.

HSE will use the winning entries as case studies which we will share as practical examples for other employers to understand how they can reduce risk in their workplaces.

Winners will be announced at the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors awards event in April 2024.

Zebra Technologies Preston (Printing Sector)

Zebra Technologies

Zebra are the 2023 winners. The announcement was made on the 23 June at the CIEHF awards event.

Their entry was the reduction of manual handling of printed rolls and boxes. The new layout has reduced the amount of lifting.

Moving the boxing machine adjacent to the packaging line reduced the lifting tasks and the design of a new cradle allowed the boxing machine to raise and lower to suit each operator’s needs.

2023 commended entry

Barrett Steel (Shoreham)

Barrett Steel

Barrett Steel have been commended for their design of a moving trailer platform, making the task much easier to complete.

The in-house design team designed a rail track for the loading platform to run on, enabling the platform to be easily moved into position and mitigating manual handling issues.

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