Last chance to enter Risk Reduction by Design Award

Areas of the body affected by musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). For more information about such injuries click here. If you have found a way to save people suffering from such injuries, you can enter the Risk Reduction by Design Award - but entries must be in by the end of January.

Around 500,000 people a year in Britain suffer from work-related strains, aches and pains from muscles or bones. Those injuries lead to about 7million lost working days, so they worth taking some effort to avoid.

Companies all over the country have devised ingenious ways of taking some of the strains and pains out of working. From simple things like putting heavy items on to shelves so people don't have to bend to stack them and pick them up to designing whole new systems to illiminate twisting and bending.

If you are one of those who have come up with a way of avoiding strains, aches and pains at work and so avoid injuries that lead to inefficient working or time off, the HSE invites you to enter the Risk Reduction Through Design Award - but you only have until the end of January to get your entry in.

Last year's winner was Henry Brothers Ltd and Construction & Procurement Delivery (CPD), which devised an offsite manufactured way of installing pipework in a three storey building (you can read about it here).

The Risk Reduction Through Design Award is jointly sponsored by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (CIEHF).

The aim is to inspire businesses to consider how design changes can reduce the risks of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

Generally, that includes:

  • taking an holistic approach to finding design solutions
  • using evidence gathering to initiate and support changes and encourage a commitment to continuous improvement
  • a high degree of workforce involvement with ideas competitions or trialling solutions
  • transferring technologies more common in other industries and to a construction environment
  • inclusion of persuasive evidence of productivity benefits as well as other indicators such as worker care, reductions in costs, employee engagement, incidents and numbers of MSD cases
  • focus on ‘out of sight and out of mind’ workers such as maintenance workers on night shifts
  • designs aimed at reducing potential for human error and confusion
  • working with a manufacturer to secure a design solution
  • design, selection and application of equipment, tools and aids tailored to the task
  • using wearable devices to measure the impact of design changes.

Make a nomination for 2019

You can nominate design solutions implemented in Great Britain during the 2019 calendar year that have demonstrated how they’ve reduced MSD risks for workers.

In-house or consultant-led design changes are welcome, but businesses should make the nominations not the designers.

Solutions that have or can reduce MSD risks for the greatest numbers of workers will be attractive to the judges but novel, innovative or niche solutions and not discouraged.

The aim is to inspire everyone to think more actively about design-based solutions to performing tasks that could lead to strains or injuries. That will be the judges’ main criteria. 

Businesses should submit nominations on no more than two sides of A4 paper.


  • the problem
  • the solution
  • the MSD benefits
  • any wider benefits
  • what your workforce thinks about the changes
  • your contact details including names of the client and designer.

Then submit your entry by 31 January 2020 to [email protected].