City of Fremantle proactive on Ergonomics

Risk Matters - Autumn 2022

The City of Fremantle’s new agile workplace sets the standard on putting employee wellbeing – and ergonomics – first.

Local government workers are spending more time sitting at work. Without an ergonomic workstation set up this can lead to pain, discomfort and injury.

Ergonomics can roughly be defined as the study of people in their working environment. Particularly successful ergonomic designs modify the work to fit the worker, not the other way around. The goal is to eliminate discomfort and reduce the risk of injury due to work.

The City of Fremantle have been proactive in putting the safety of their office staff first. The City has recently designed a new head office at Walyalup Civic Centre, and engaged the LGIS injury prevention team in the planning and design process. LGIS provided guidance on suitable equipment, workstation layout and desk dimensions, to ensure the new office meets AS/NZS 4442:2018 ergonomic standards.


They have also proactively arranged for our injury prevention consultant to be onsite during staff relocation, providing introduction sessions on the adjustment of chair and desks and completing floor walks, enabling staff to ask questions as they arise.

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What’s an ‘agile’ workplace?

An agile workplace is a type of work environment designed around complete flexibility. An agile workplace encourages workers to move freely around the office, making use of whichever space suits their objectives at that time. Agile office design is about providing workers with a variety of useful spaces where they can feel at their most productive.

Fremantle’s process

  • Workstation ergonomics are discussed on day 1 of induction and all new joiners are briefed on the support available to them.
  • Each department has a “Digital Champion” who has been trained in correct ergonomic setup.
    These Champions run them through:
    – How to operate the task chair and electric height adjustable desk
    – Correct body positioning, heights of chair, desk and monitors as well as where other peripherals should be located.
    – How to structure their work day to ensure that maximum movement is achieved.
  • Online information is available via videos and brochures
  • An e-form is used to request an ergonomic review from the WHS team
  • If after all of this there are still issues we can’t solve, we bring in the LGIS ergo experts.

Claremont’s changes

“As one of the first LGAs in Western Australia to fully embrace activity base working (ABW), we had some unique challenges in setting up our new office spaces. Multiple times each day, our staff are moving from one office zone to another, depending on what fits best to the activity they are performing. This means that they need a much more detailed knowledge of how to adjust their chair, desk and peripherals to achieve an ergonomically sound setup. The LGIS injury prevention team were able to provide excellent expert advice in the lead up to our move as well as onsite training to our staff.” Kurt Spanswick – Team Leader OHS, City of Fremantle

LGIS injury prevention services can assist with assessing the workstation and making adjustments and recommendations to ensure it suits the worker, however there are also resources available on the Injury Prevention page of our website, including easy to use checklists on setting up your workstation – both in the office and at home, sitting and standing. There is also a new video which guides viewers through basic chair adjustments and workspace set up.

If you have any questions about ergonomics, or the services available, please contact the LGIS injury prevention team on 9483 8818.

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