Posture People have been working closely with Sussex Police for over 10 years and have offered services including specialist DSE assessments, workplace consultancy and the approved supply of ergonomic furniture and equipment.
On this occasion, we were asked to replace the chairs that were past their life expectancy and create a safe and comfortable environment for the 185 contact handlers that work in their contact centre.
The contact centre provides a crucial service within the police, processing over 70,000 calls a month, 24 hours a day. We needed to make sure that we could replace their equipment with minimal disturbance so that they could continue to be the first point of contact for someone in crisis.
Sussex police has an ongoing commitment to the welfare of their staff and wanted to invest in ergonomic equipment that would support all of their staff during their 10-hour shifts, prevent musculoskeletal issues and further support those that already have back problems or disabilities.
After recently consolidating two sites, they had inherited a mixture of chairs that were past their life expectancy. They needed to replace breakages, and chairs that were no longer fit for purpose.
“We were offered cheaper solutions, but we are confident that this is the most cost-effective chair over the 5 years – especially with the 24-hour guarantee. We wanted to champion “buy once and buy right” and were swayed by the ability to replace parts of the chair instead of having to purchase a new one. We’ve been supported from start to finish, their reponses have been prompt and any issues have been resolved quickly”
Project Officer – FCCD estates & facilities, Sussex Police
Sussex Police operate a clean desk policy so that any member of staff can work anywhere in the facility. This meant finding an ergonomic solution that was highly adjustable to suite any shape and size person on the force.
We wanted to find a solution that would work for 99% of their staff around the clock. When looking into how they wanted to work going forward, we set ourselves the following criteria:
- Chairs guaranteed for 24/7 usage over 5 years
- Hard wearing fabrics and materials
- Highly adjustable to suit all shapes and sizes
- Cost -effective with replaceable parts to extend the life expectancy of the chairs
- Highly ergonomic to reduce their spend on specialist chairs
We put forward a selection of chairs and offered a long-term trial so that all the members of staff could try them across their different the shift patterns. Each chair was labelled and came with a supporting video from our ergonomic expert, detailing the adjustments and benefits of each chair so that they could experience the full benefit of a properly adjusted chair.
Sussex Police then set up an inbox with a template feedback form so that they could collate all the feedback from their contact handlers. Although two chairs came first in their poll, they chose ergonomic RH400 chairs to reduce their spend on specialist chairs over 5 years and invest in a long-term solution to improve their employee wellbeing.
Sussex Police serves East and West Sussex and the city of Brighton & Hove – an area of 3,780km. A resident population of 1.65m grows significantly with millions of visitors, holidaymakers, students, seasonal workers and the 39 million passengers who travel through Gatwick Airport.
Already a low-cost force (spending £36m below the national force average), since 2010 the Force has made savings of nearly £90m. It continues to systematically transform its services, most recently with a new, flexible local policing approach introduced in late 2017.
With Surrey, further collaboration in the areas of specialist crime and operations is well underway to deliver even greater efficiency and effectiveness, improving services and resilience at a reduced cost.
Committed to innovation, sharing resources and systems, collaboration and working smarter Sussex will continue to enhance its capacity and capabilities to tackle emerging crime threats to keep Sussex a safe place.
The force has almost 2,500 police officers and 1,800 police staff, 196 police community support officers and a team of dedicated volunteers that includes over 230 special constables and around 190 police cadets.
“Our old chairs were generic and didn’t feel fit for purpose. With the new chairs, all the controls can be adjusted for your own needs. I have fibromyalgia and I’m sitting next to someone without problems in the same chair. It seems to work for anyone. I don’t feel singled out”
Contact Officer, Sussex Police