27 March 2020

Lock-downs and new services - virtual ergonomics

Like the rest of New Zealand and much of the world, Optimise personnel retreated to home-based offices and their own sections for the Covid-19 lock-down this week. Though this was not such a hard-ask for us as we all work from home offices!


Consequent to this, Optimise has worked with Sue Alexander of Alexander Ergonomics for a new service delivery option - the provision of training and consultancy for home office workstation setup via virtual delivery modes. Our collaboration has allowed us to quickly develop high quality resources that allow us to meet your team's needs for reassurance and practical advice at this potentially stressful time for all.  More information here. Just get in touch with Marion to book you place.

We are here to help you and your staff manage at this difficult time.

16 October 2019

New Health and Safety Advice Subsidy available - manufacturing sector

Early October saw ACC launch a new subsidy that is targeting health and safety advice for the manufacturing sector - specifically for companies with between 6 and 99 employees. Using only those people that are listed on the HASANZ Register (which includes several Optimise personnel) small to medium sized businesses are encouraged to access health and safety advisory services to improve their systems and practices.


The subsidy is for up to 50% of the cost of the advice - up to $500 for businesses with 6-50 employees, and up to $1,300 for businesses with 51-99 employees.  

To apply, go to, download and complete the simple application form, then email it to ACC will confirm if your business is eligible and will send information to you. You can then engage your HASANZ Registered professional. Your business will need to send ACC a receipt and a copy of the Action Plan and/or Improvement Activity report provided from the H and S professional, and ACC will then refund their contribution.

16 October 2019

Welcome to Rachel Dykes and Jane Pierce, new Optimise Associates

New Optimise Associates Rachel Dykes and Jane Pierce have come on board to support the provision of ergonomics/human factors services, as service demand increases. IN addition to ergonomics expertise, both Jane (a physiotherapist) and Rachel (a nurse) have significant expertise in the health sector and will be working to provide human factors support for adverse event reviews within health services, as are others within the Optimise team. 

Welcome aboard Jane and Rachel, it is great to have you on the team.

27 September 2019

Another fantastic HFESNZ Conference

Last week saw Marion (and all the rest of the Optimise crew) recharge their professional batteries and extend their learning at the 21st Annual Conference of the HFESNZ.  This year we had two fantastic UK speakers - Saskia Fursland and Alex Lang - who extended our knowledge of human factors applications in healthcare settings. Saskia's expertise in healthcare incident investigation (from a background in aviation) and Alex's extensive experience working to improve the nature of work and the work environment in healthcare for better outcomes, were of value to us in our work here in New Zealand. Along with an exciting and full two day conference where Saskia and Alex presented masterclasses, we also enjoyed a preceding one day symposium for healthcare professionals with an interest in human factors applications.  This was held at Auckland Hospital, and showcased the value of human factors methods and approaches for a range of clinical purposes - including prevention of adverse patient safety events, and improving healthcare outcomes and efficiencies. 

As usual, the HFESNZ conference was an outstanding showcase of the work of our profession to others in the broader health and safety and design sectors, and an excellent opportunity for us to reconnect with friends and colleagues, and to make new contacts. 

And we must mention the fantastic conference dinner!  The brilliant team at  Dans le nois  a 'dining in the dark' experience, allowed us to test the delights and difficulties of being blind, if only for a short while. (We are pleased we wore clothes that the food stains came out of). This is highly recommended. 

Aug/Sept 2018

Motueka - Rome - Florence - Siena - Hong Kong - Motueka - Wellington - Wellington - Motueka

27 July 2018

HASANZ Register goes live

27 July 2018 was a special day for professionals from across New Zealand's health and safety disciplines.  The HASANZ Register was officially launched by WorkSafe Chief Executive Nicole Rosie, and is a milestone for New Zealand.  For the first time, businesses have free access to a national, online register of verified health and safety professionals, to find quality, reliable health and safety advice.  Human factors professionals/ergonomists are able to register if they are Certified Professional Members of HFESNZ.  Insisting on consistent standards across disciplines is a mark of maturity for the workplace health and safety sector. It is about growing professionalism and strengthening the system. The HASANZ Register will deliver trusted advisers for healthier and safer workplaces.  

Optimise is thrilled to have Marion Edwin, (Director and Principal Ergonomist) and Associates Liz Ashby and Sue Alexander as HASANZ Registered professionals. 

22 May 2018

Welcome to Karen Goodfellow, new Optimise Associate

Marion is excited to report that Karen Goodfellow, Associate NZHFE, is joining Optimise as an Associate.  Karen works from a base in Arrowtown.  She has a background in occupational therapy, and has completed a Master of Science in Health Ergonomics at the University of Surrey's Robens Institute, in the United Kingdom.  

We look forward to having Karen join us with projects. 

20 March 2018

Farewell to Optimise Asociate Leanne Hunter

Leanne Hunter, Optimise Associate since February 2015, is heading off to a new role with Ryman Healthcare.  We wish her all the very best as she tackles this new role - our loss is Ryman's gain!  Optimise is happy to be part of the growth of human factors/ergonomics careers in New Zealand.

15 November 2017

'our networks' Web Page, and New Associate

Optimise has a new web page 'our networks' listing some of the great people and organisations we like to work with. We do this when collaborating on projects, developing service solutions to meet specific client needs, and to teach our skills to others or to learn new skills.  If you think you should be listed on our 'our networks' page just get in touch with Marion for a chat. Reciprocation is a bonus.

We are also thrilled that Liz Ashby, CNZHFE, from Auckland, has joined the Optimise team as an Associate, sub-contracting for projects as required.  This will make it easier for our northern clients to access Optimise services. Liz has a great range of skills and experience. I have worked with Liz on projects in the past, and look forward to doing so again in the future - welcome aboard Liz!

12 September 2017

HFESNZ 2017 Conference Attendance

Last week was conference week for Optimise. We enjoyed 2 full days of HFE action based out of the School of Design at Massey University in Wellington. From the welcome event on Tuesday evening through to the 'Port of Departure' farewell on Thursday, we enjoyed catching up with colleagues both old and new, and being challenged and extended by the content of presentations from society members and visiting speakers. We learned of product design in the field of performance seating from Formway Furniture - a leading New Zealand design business. We learned of service design being carried out with the NZ Police, and of seating design that reduces injury risks for marine operators.  And of the upstream design responsibilities outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, and roading design for motorcyle safety, office design from a human user's perspective, human factors in hunting, safety systems for cycling, low impact flooring designs to reduce fall-related injuries, the integration of Lean and HFE principles for productivity improvement and staff wellbeing, reflective interviews, lighting and illumination issues, neuroergonomics, reducing parking warden leg injuries, and evidence for interventions and guidance material in moving and handling people... and more. Phew! As you can see, HFE has very diverse fields of application, and high relevance to both preventing injury and optimising productivity within organisations. It was Marion's pleasure, as current HFESNZ Chairperson, to lead a number of discussions on the direction of HFE in New Zealand and the activities of HFESNZ, and to introduce speakers from HASANZ and WorkSafe NZ.  HFESNZ is proud to be part of the solution for improving New Zealand's health and safety performance, and Optimise is a proud supporter of HFESNZ, the society for human factors and ergonomics professionals. 

16 August 2017

Nelson/Tasman Health and Safety Expo

Optimise was once again happy to be involved with the Chamber of Commerce led Health and Safety Expo,  held yesterday at the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson.  A collaboration with ACC saw the Employers Seminar with a range of speakers run in the morning, followed by other speakers from the local Health and Safety Network and event sponsor Duncan Cotterill run through the afternoon.  A range of exhibitors were present throughout the day enabling attendees to make contact with representatives from many different professions and businesses.  It was another great opportunity to meet with business operators looking to ensure that all their workers return home healthy and safe, every day. For those of us manning a trade stand, it was also a great chance to catch up with others in the field whom were also exhibiting.  It is these relationships which ensure that local businesses have services provided from linked and networked operators, working together for common outcomes to support business goals.  

7 August  2017  

HASANZ working to raise standards in the health and safety sector

The Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ) is progressing towards the availability of a public register for all professionals working within the health and safety sector.  New Zealand’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is a founding member of HASANZ and has gone on to meet the requirements of full membership.  Just recently the registration standard for Certified Professional Members of HFESNZ has been approved to list on the forthcoming HASANZ Register.   Marion Edwin, Optimise Principal Ergonomist, has represented the ergonomics/human factors profession on the HASANZ leadership team carrying out this important work in partnership with others.  Optimise is excited to be a part of this system-wide raising of the standards in New Zealand’s health and safety sector, looking forward to the early 2018 public availability of the HASANZ Register. Businesses will be able to search for and identify registered professionals who can provide the services required.

Conference Triple-banger

Late August 2018 through to early September 2018 saw Marion attempt a conference marathon (or perhaps a triathlon?)

A full 5 days of International Ergonomics Association Congress in Florence, Italy, with an extra couple of days of IEA Council meeting beforehand and a couple of squeezed in days of sightseeing, was the heady start to this endurance event. (Prosecco and a grand sense of adventure saw me through these early stages). But just like a marathon with an evil mid-race hill, the return flights to NZ took their toll. A snatched one day Hong Kong visit between flights filled some time with another little adventure - but in retrospect might have been better spent snoozing. Then a one-night-at-home turnaround to grab some clean clothing, remind the family who I was, and ignore the jet-lag... and off to Wellington for the one-day HFESNZ mini-conference. This was managed, but the reserves were low. The final leg of the conference marathon was the two day HASANZ Conference - it was the final hurdle (though it felt more like an impossible pole-vault). I managed day one, but fatigue beat me on the final day, and I headed home for a nap.


The spirit was willing, but the flesh was oh so human. Would I do it again? Probably! 

24 July 2017

Eco living and working

As another winter rolls around Marion Edwin, Optimise lead, reflected that it is now 9 years since she and her family have enjoyed living in the off-grid Te Manawa Eco-village, in rural Tasman. The views and environment are still calming, recharging and invigorating - it was a great move! Optimise is happy to advise that the office base is therefore ‘greener’ than most, and that this was extended by the early 2017 upgrade of the company vehicle to a (hybrid) Toyota Prius.

16 May 2017

Motueka High School Careers Expo

A local high school careers expo saw the opportunity to present the broad range of careers that exist within the health and safety sector, to students considering their future.  This was carried out under the banner of HASANZ, the organisation that represents the many professions within the health and safety sector.  This was an exciting opportunity to speak to young people about the many and varied opportunities that exist. Marion Edwin (representing HFESNZ) worked with Karyn Byrom, of the local branch of NZISM, to speak with a number of students interested in the options.


This was such good contact with young people considering their careers that we did it again in May 2018 with the assistance of Shane Holloway of Guard Safety, and again in May 2019!  

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