Following the redesign of the bus station ticket office, staff reported that the change in counter design resulted in extending customer service time. This resulted in missing breaks and were constantly in demand by customers. Two staff members had already sought medical investigation for back and neck pain and high levels of stress and anxiety.
The interaction between customers and ticket staff had at times become heated, as the long wait time resulted in missing buses. Staff were regularly at risk of verbal assaults and on occassions physical assault.
Staff were stressed. Staff absence had increased. Throughput had decreased, and customer complaints continued to rise.
Head office had sent down internal health and safety who confirmed that the redesign was causing issues and advised that a specialist ergonomic investigation be undertaken asap.
What we did
Following a discussion of the situation with the head of HR and H&S we carried out an investigation of the new design and evaluated performance of staff using data from the pre-design with data collected during the assessment.
Following on from this we carried out a full ergonomic analysis of the ticketing office ie counter design, equipment used and body mapping in relation to equipment positioning.
The design changes had not considered the task, or the placement of the equipment. It had introduced a considerable number of hazards that were not there previously.
The risk to wellbeing was greatly increased as highlighted with staff seeking a medical investigation, the increased level of stress reports and the reports of verbal abuse.;
The whole desk area which was composed of curves had to be removed, and a costly retrofit was avoided by making some strategic changes to the existing design and siting the equipment correctly
Changes to the design of the ticketing office resulted in quicker customer service thus reducing waiting time, which resulted in potentially less customers running for buses which in turn resulted in potential near misses. Customer complaints reduced, and a customer survey showed positive to the new changes. The design change resulted in reduced physical pain and stress and anxiety, and staff wellbeing was bolstered as staff felt postitive from being consulted on the change to their workplace compared to the previous design change which was put upon them.