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Certifications keep your workplace safe
Office furniture is designed to be comfortable, useful and extraordinarily safe. Thanks to international certifications, you can trust that your office furniture has been designed, manufactured and tested to withstand extreme use and emergencies.
There are a variety of standards that office furniture can be certified for. For example, GREENGUARD certification ensures that furniture does not emit unwanted chemicals into indoor air. Another office furniture certification has been created by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA). This certification takes a comprehensive look at new furniture for ergonomics, sizing, sustainability, performance and safety.
Ensuring that furniture meets the certifications can be an arduous process for manufacturers. Every piece of furniture must be designed according to the agreed-upon specifications. Then the furniture must be manufactured with quality materials and processes to ensure it withstands the expected lifetime (which often is considered to be heavy use in rough environments).
Even the certifications are created with care and due process. For example, safety certifications ensure furniture materials meet the California Technical Bulletin 117 for flammability. This standard tests materials for their likelihood to combust in a relatively common scenario: a lighted cigarette butt is placed on the fabric. For fabrics to meet the flammability standard, they must be resilient to combustion from a cigarette butt.
Safety certifications don’t just consider extreme events life fire. They also ensure that abnormal use will not cause injury. BIFMA certifications for chairs include a consideration for weight through a drop test. In this test, an extremely heavy weight is dropped onto the top of a chair and the chair is observed to collapse or withstand the heavy weight. Imagine jumping into the air onto the chair – BIFMA ensures the chair won’t collapse under your weight and cause you to fall.
Even leaning back – certifications are the reason modern chairs don’t lose balance and tip when you lean back to stretch on your office chair.
And this is all just one small part of certifications. Safety certifications consider day-to-day use (from swivelling to standing on the seat) to the abnormal events that no workplace imagines could happen (such as a large fire).
In the very least, look for certified furniture for the comfort that the furniture will not tip over during use. You can also rest assured the furniture will not combust from a lit cigarette. Certifications ensure your safety comes first.