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Are you sitting comfortably?

Are you sitting comfortably?

Assessing risk and designing office chairs and workstations to suit the user, rather than the office, was a theme explored in the latest of a series of BIFM Masterclasses sponsored by Harrow Green.

The event, held on 30th March at the UK head offices of the Swedish office furniture manufacturer Kinnarps, was a collaboration between the Rising FMs Special Interest Group of BIFM and the Home Counties region.

Speakers from Elementus, the workplace compliance consultants, presented an overview of DSE (Display Screen Equipment) Assessments and gave a practical workshop. Kinnarps's own ergonomic expert, Ashley Hayward, presented his views on workstations and how a Kinnarps office chair should be adjusted to suit the user, rather than being adjusted to suit the desk.

Ashley drew an interesting parallel with cycling. If the chair is the saddle and the workstation the handle bars, anyone who has ever cycled will know that you need to adjust the seat and the handlebars separately to prevent discomfort and injury. With hundreds of hours lost every year to individual businesses through work related disorders, risk assessment and the correct adjustment of equipment are essential elements of the criteria for selecting office furniture.

Fritz Jansen of Capita Symonds presented an 'About the Job' session, giving members an opportunity to increase their confidence in public speaking, and get recognition from their colleagues and peers of the role the FM plays in the organisation.

Finally, the Group was pleased to announce a new working partnership with FRL Recruitment, who have come on board to offer help, career guidance and practical support to members.

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